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Cosmos in the Ancient World


Phillip Sidney Horky, Arnaud Macé, Malcolm Schofield; Monte Ransome Johnson, George Boys-Stones, Luc Brisson, Pauliina Remes, Carol Atack, Renaud Gagné, Robert Germany, Gilles Sauron, W. H. Shearin, Victoria Wohl
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  • Date Published: July 2019
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108423649

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About the Authors
  • How did the ancient Greeks and Romans conceptualise order? This book answers that question by analysing the formative concept of kosmos ('order', 'arrangement', 'ornament') in ancient literature, philosophy, science, art, and religion. This concept encouraged the Greeks and Romans to develop theories to explain core aspects of human life, including nature, beauty, society, politics, the individual, and what lies beyond human experience. Hence, Greek kosmos, and its Latin correlate mundus, are subjects of profound reflection by a wide range of important ancient figures, including philosophers (Parmenides, Empedocles, the Pythagoreans, Democritus, Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, Lucretius, Cicero, Seneca, Plotinus), poets and playwrights (Sophocles, Euripides, Aristophanes, Plautus, Marcus Argentarius, Nonnus), intellectuals (Gorgias, Protagoras, Varro), and religious exegetes (Philo, the Gospel Writers, Paul). By revealing kosmos in its many ancient manifestations, this book asks us to rethink our own sense of 'order', and to reflect on our place within a broader cosmic history.

    • Provides a comprehensive and up-to-date analysis of the ancient notion of kosmos and related concepts from a variety of perspectives (philosophical, literary, political and aesthetic)
    • Brings together the work of an international team of contributors
    • Offers a wide-ranging treatment of authors, genres, texts, and epochs in the ancient world
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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2019
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108423649
    • length: 370 pages
    • dimensions: 235 x 158 x 24 mm
    • weight: 0.68kg
    • contains: 1 b/w illus. 2 tables
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction Phillip Sidney Horky
    1. When did Kosmos become the Kosmos? Phillip Sidney Horky
    2. Ordering the universe in speech: Kosmos and Diakosmos in Parmenides' poem Arnaud Macé
    3. Diakosmêsis Malcolm Schofield
    4. Aristotle on Kosmos and Kosmoi Monte Ransome Johnson
    5. Order and orderliness: the myth of 'inner beauty' in Plato George Boys-Stones
    6. Polis as Kosmos in Plato's laws Luc Brisson
    7. Relating to the world, encountering the other: Plotinus on cosmic and human action Pauliina Remes
    8. Tradition and innovation in the Kosmos-Polis analogy Carol Atack
    9. Cosmic choruses: metaphor and performance Renaud Gagné
    10. All the world's a stage: Contemplatio Mundi in Roman theatre Robert Germany
    11. The architectural representation of the Kosmos from Varro to Hadrian Gilles Sauron
    12. 'The deep-sticking boundary stone': cosmology, sublimity, and knowledge in Lucretius' De rerum natura and Seneca's Naturales quaestiones W. H. Shearin
    13. Cosmic spiritualism among the Pythagoreans, Stoics, Jews, and early Christians Phillip Sidney Horky
    Afterword Victoria Wohl.

  • Editor

    Phillip Sidney Horky, University of Durham
    Phillip Sidney Horky is Associate Professor of Ancient Philosophy at the University of Durham. In addition to his monograph Plato and Pythagoreanism (2013), he has published articles and book chapters on topics in ancient philosophy ranging from metaphysics and cosmology to political theory and ethics. While continuing his research on Pythagoreanism in the Hellenistic and Post-Hellenistic worlds (in Pythagorean Philosophy, 250 BCE–200 CE: An Introduction and Collection of Sources in Translation (forthcoming, Cambridge), he is also writing a monograph on pre-Aristotelian theories of language and ontology, provisionally entitled Prelude to the Categories.


    Phillip Sidney Horky, Arnaud Macé, Malcolm Schofield; Monte Ransome Johnson, George Boys-Stones, Luc Brisson, Pauliina Remes, Carol Atack, Renaud Gagné, Robert Germany, Gilles Sauron, W. H. Shearin, Victoria Wohl

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