A distinguished group of scholars of ancient philosophy here presents a systematic study of the twelfth book of Aristotle's Metaphysics. Book Lambda, which can be regarded as a self-standing treatise on substance, has been attracting particular attention in recent years, and was chosen as the focus of the fourteenth Symposium Aristotelicum, from which this volume is derived.
In this book distinguished experts from a range of disciplines (Orientalists, philologists, philosophers, theologians and historians) address a central problem which lies at the heart of the religious and philosophical debate of late antiquity. Paganism was not a unified tradition and consequently the papers cover a wide social and intellectual spectrum. Particular emphasis is given to several aspects of the topic: first, monotheistic belief in late antique philosophical ideals and its roots in classical antiquity and the Near East; second, monistic (...) Gnosticism; third, the revelatory tradition as expressed in oracular literature; and finally, the monotheistic trend in popular religion. (shrink)
This book, a collection of specially written essays by leading international scholars, reexamines ancient ideas of reason and rationality. The application of changing notions of rationality down the ages has led to consistent misinterpretation of standard ancient philosophical texts: the distinguished contributors here redress the balance, clarifying how the great thinkers of antiquity themselves conceived of rationality.