Reconstructing Western Civilization: Irreverant Essays on Antiquity

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Susquehanna University Press, 2006 - History - 392 pages
This is a collection of eleven essays, laced with humor and irony, on the Dawn of Man, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Hebrews, Minoans and Mycenaens, classical Greece, Alexander the Great, the Hellenistic world, Rome's Republic and Empire, and several church fathers (Irenaeus, Tertullian, Jerome, and Augustine) who influenced the Primitive Church. Tinsley highlights current research while showcasing themes of contemporary as well as ancient significance - misogyny, the manipulation of rhetoric to justify privilege, the contributions of the anonymous to the well-being of the famous, the paradox of progress, the distortion of prophecy, the use and misuse of myth and other media, the exploitation of spiritual, intellectual, physical, and sexual resources, the comforts and perils of provincialism versus the dangers and benefits of organization - spiritual, imperial, or both.

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Contents

Introduction
7
Before Civilization
11
Middlemen The Civilizations of Mesopotamia
26
Forever Egypt
50
Our Hebrew Heritage
75
Crete and Mycenae
102
Classical Greece
121
Alexander and the Hellenistic World
155
Hellenistic Civilization
174
Republican Rome
200
Princeps and Principate 27 BCAD 180
235
Four Fathers and the Primitive Church
282
Notes
327
Bibliography
365
Index
377
Copyright

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Page 75 - You shall not make for yourself a sculptured image, or any likeness of what is in the heavens above, or on the earth below, or in the waters under the earth.
Page 236 - Think not that I have come to abolish the law and the prophets; I have come not to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the law until all is accomplished.
Page 135 - Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country!
Page 278 - If the gods have determined about me and about the things which must happen to me, they have determined well, for it is not easy even to imagine a deity without forethought; and as to doing me harm, why should they have any desire towards that? for what advantage would result to them from this or to the whole, which is the special object of their providence? But if they have not determined about me individually, they have certainly determined about the whole at least, and the things which happen...
Page 267 - Trajan was ambitious of fame; and as long as mankind shall continue of Trajan to bestow more liberal applause on their destroyers than on their in the east benefactors, the thirst of military glory will ever be the vice of the most exalted characters.
Page 94 - O my son Absalom, my son, my son Absalom! Would I had died instead of you. O Absalom, my son, my son!
Page 17 - As soon as some ancient member in the great series of the Primates came to be less arboreal, owing to a change in its manner of procuring subsistence, or to some change in the surrounding conditions, its habitual manner of progression would have been modified: and thus it would have been rendered more strictly quadrupedal or bipedal.
Page 238 - Your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.' And he replied, 'Who are my mother and my brothers?' And looking at those who sat around him, he said, 'Here are my mother and my brothers. Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother' (Mark 3:31-35 ). This suggests that Jesus is referring to a universal family of believers.

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