Time has always held a fascination for human beings, who have attempted to relate to it and to make sense of it, constructing and deconstructing it through its various prisms, since time cannot be experienced in an unmediated way. This book answers the needs of a growing community of scholars and readers who are interested in this interaction. It offers a series of innovative studies by both senior and younger experts on various aspects of the construction of time in antiquity. Some articles in this book contain visual material published for the first time, while other studies update the field with new theories or apply new approaches to relevant sources. Within the study of antiquity, the book covers the disciplines of Classics and Ancient History, Assyriology, Egyptology, Ancient Judaism, and Early Christianity, with thematic contributions on rituals, festivals, astronomy, calendars, medicine, art, and narrative.
Jonathan Ben-Dov is an expert on ancient Jewish literature and ancient astronomy and calendars. He took part in the official publication of calendrical texts from the Dead Sea Scrolls, and is now co-leader of a new project for the digitization of the scrolls. He has been research fellow in New York University and at Durham University, and is a member of the Israeli Young Academy of Sciences. Lutz Doering is a scholar of ancient Judaism and Early Christianity, specializing in the study of festivals, Jewish law, and letter writing. He has held research fellowships from the British Arts and Humanities Research Council, and the Israel Institute for Advanced Studies, and currently leads a project in the Cluster of Excellence 'Religion and Politics' at the University of Munster, Germany.
1. Introduction Lutz Doering and Jonathan Ben-Dov; 2 Time and natural law in Jewish-Hellenistic writings Jonathan Ben-Dov; 3. Calendars, politics, and power relations in the Roman Empire Sacha Stern; 4. Doubling religion in the Augustan Age: shaping time for an empire Joerg Rupke; 5. Real and constructed time in Babylonian astral medicine John Steele; 6. The intellectual background of the Antikythera mechanism Robert Hannah; 7. Divine figurations of time in Ancient Egypt Alexandra von Lieven; 8. The moon and the power of time reckoning in Ancient Mesopotamia Lorenzo Verderame; 9. Toward a phenomenology of time in ancient Greek art SeungJung Kim; 10. Women's bodies as metaphors for time in biblical, second temple, and rabbinic literature Sarit Kattan Gribetz; 11. The beginning of sabbath and festivals in ancient Jewish sources Lutz Doering; 12. Seasoning the bible and biblifying time through fixed liturgical reading systems (lectionaries) Daniel Stoekl Ben Ezra; 13. The Roman ember days of September and the Jewish New Year Robert Hayward; 14. Celebrations and the abstention from celebrations of sacred time in Early Christianity Clemens Leonhard.