Sunday, March 30, 2008

An Annotated and Highly Subjective Bibliography

Karl Otfried Mueller (Carolus Odofredo Muelleri in his latin guise): This German scholar is the godfather of research on ancient Antioch. His chief text is the relatively inaccessible (until recently) Antiquitates Antiochenses published in the 1830s at Gottingen. His great contribution was to bring together most of the hitherto scattered references to the city and its buildings and topography and put them together in one source. He also produced a conjectural map which turned out to be wildly wrong but was a splendid shot at the task considering that he had not been to the site and there was little available beforehand except other maps that were even more fanciful.

Muller burned brightly at his moment in time and unfortunately died young, succumbing to "exposure to the sun" in Athens in 1840. His text can be found at:

pages 800 onwards in the essay "De antiquitatibus Antiochenis"

Richard Forster: This German scholar wrote a homage to Muller in 1898, based upon his own recent trip to Antakya and provides a guide to the accuracies or not in the Muller text with further references to the historical texts. Forster was also the author of a translation of Libanius's Oration the Antiochikos. The Forster piece is required reading and still remains one of the most interesting accounts on the historical topography of the city. The text can be found at:

Page 115 onwards..

David Margoliouth on Ignacio Guidi:For one genius of Middle Eastern scholarship commenting on another, one cannot pass by this piece.,M1

This is a book review with a twist. Margoliouth uses the opportunity of reviewing Guidi to find a quasi-parallel text in the Bodleiian library and then compare it to the the far more famous text that Guidi translates and comments upon from the Vatican Library. Both are great as they illuminate some of the structures and history of the city written by a visitor in the period when little other text exists on the city (i.e. the pre-Crusader period).

William Stinespring: Later in life this author was the Professor of Divinity at Duke University, but when he wrote this still unpublished thesis he was a student at Yale's Divinity School. This is a translation of the aforementioned Vatican text by an Arab (-speaking) traveller to Antioch. It is useful not just for its translation into English of this important piece but for its attempts to date the original text. It also contains a map (prepared on the eve of the Princeton explorations) that does not move the ball forward on locating sites in the city (in fact it is upside down in the text!). Despite the map, the thesis is a must-read.
The Description of Antioch in Codex Vaticanus Arabicus 286
by WF Stinespring, Yale, 1932.

To our knowledge copies only exist in the Yale and Duke Library systems.

Clara ten Hacken: In a similar vein we have the essay on another writer that may of may not be related to the Vatican text. The writer expands upon the history of this text and what is known and then translates key parts. This is a travelogue of churches in the area of Antioch. A lot of the translated text does remind the reader of the wording of the Vatican text.
The Description of Antioch in Abu al-Makarim's History of the Churches and Monasteries of Egypt and some Neighbouring Countries,M1

Page 185 to 216
Grégoire Poccardi: this piece in French is fascinatining for its new take on the street orientation of the Island. While sounding dry it is a fascinating use of the aerial photographs taken in the 1930s to posit that the orientation of the street pattern of the Island was different to that projected by Wilber's map based upon the excavations of the Princeton. It also discusses the mystery Temple on the Island in more depth than we have seen elsewhere.

L'ile d'Antioche a la fin de l'antiquite: histoire et probleme de topographie urbaine. L. Lavan (éd.), Recent Research in Late Antique Urbanism IV, Portsmouth (New-Jersey), Suppl. JRA, 42, 2000 p. 155-172.
Pour un nouveau plan urbain de l'île de l'Oronte (Ville Neuve) du IIIe au Ve siècle à Antioche de Syrie, G. Poccardi, in MEFRA, 106, 2, 1994, p. 993-1023.
Étude de la permanence des tracés urbains et ruraux antiques à Antioche-sur-l'Oronte - J. Leblanc et G. Poccardi in Syria, 76, 1999 (Mélanges en hommage à Ernest Will 2), p. 91-126.

Note sur l'emplacement possible du stade olympique de Daphné (Antioche-sur-l'Oronte) »,J. Leblanc et G. Poccardi, dans ARAM Periodical, 11-12, 1999-2000 (Actes du colloque "Antiochia and Edessa", tenu à Oxford, du 12 au 14 juillet 1999), p. 389-397.
Antioche : évolution d'une ville de l'époque hellénistique à l'époque islamique. G. Poccardi, dans M. Mazoyer, J. Pérez Rey, F. Malbran-Labat et R. Lebrun (éd.), La Ville au cœur du pouvoir (Actes du colloque tenu à l'institut catholique de Paris, les 7 et 8 décembre 2000), Paris, Éd. L'Harmattan, Coll. : Kubaba, 1, 2001, p. 275-299.
L’eau domestiquée et l’eau « sauvage » à Antioche-sur-l’Oronte : problèmes de gestion, J. Leblanc et G. Poccardi in B. Cabouret et C. Saliou (éd.), Antioche de Syrie : Histoire, images et traces de la ville antique (Actes de colloque tenu à la Maison de L’Orient (Lyon) du 4 au 6 octobre 2001), Lyon, Suppl. Topoi, 5, 2004, p. 239-256.

Edward Greswell: This work is the be all and end all on Ancient Greek calendars. Not exactly a crowd-pleaser, but so thorough that we can see why this book written in1862 has never been topped.
Origines kalendariæ Hellenicæ; or, The history of the primitive calendar among the Greeks

Jesse Casana: This archaeologist is one of the few active players in exploration of the Antioch area at this time. He is based at the University of Arkansas. The main field he is working on is the Amuq River Valley Project, which is being organised by the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago. His report below is one of the most recent practical pieces on the current state of ancient Antioch and includes a lot of detail on the ancient agricultural economy of the region.

The Archaeological Landscape of Late Roman Antioch -

Frederick Norris: This scholar from Emmanuel School of Religion is the author of the most extensive work on the religious infrastructure of ancient Antioch. This is the best source for identifying which gods were worshipped and what evidence exists of their temples. He has also written upon the manifestations of the Eastern cults in the city and has a work in progress on Judaism and Christianity before Constantine .

Antioch on-the-Orontes as a Religious Center, 1. Paganism before Constantine. Aufstieg und Niedergang Teil II, Band 18, Teilband 4, Berlin, Walter de Gruyter, 1990.

Isis, Sarapis and Demeter in Antioch in Syria.The Harvard Theological Review, Vol. 75, No. 2 (Apr., 1982), pp. 189-207

Granville Downey: Without detracting from the others cited, this scholar is located at the centre of Antiochene scholarship. He was the most prolific and varied of the writers on the city in the 20th century and remains the modern touchstone for matters related to Ancient Antioch. He was primarily working out of the Dumbarton Oaks division of Harvard and the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and at Yale University. Stinespring makes reference to an Index on Antioch that Downey was working on in the late 1920s and early 1930s at Yale but I have never seen any other reference to this seemingly abandoned project.

How can we list his prolific output? We shall list his main work here for the moment and add more over time.

A History of Antioch in Syria from Seleucus to the Arab Conquest, Princeton 1961.

Libanius' Oration in Praise of Antioch (Oration XI) - Translation and Commentary. Proceedings of the American Philosophical Society, Vol. 103, No5, Ocotber 1959.

The Gate of the Cherubim at Antioch, The Jewish Quarterly Review, 1938.

The Olympic Games at Antioch in the Fourth Century A.D.. Proceedings of the American Philological Association, Vol 70, (1939) pp 428-438.

The size of the population of Antioch. Proceedings of the American Philological Association, Vol 89, (1958) pp 84-91

Strabo on Antioch: Notes on his method. Proceedings of the American Philological Association, Vol 72, (1941) pp 85-95.

The Architectural Significance of the use of the words stoa and basilike in Classical Literature. American Journal of Archaeology Vol 41. No. 2 (April-June 1937) pp194-211

Jean Lassus: This French academic was one of the last survivors of the 1930s expeditions to be still writing on the theme. His 1972 volume finished the series on the excavations thirty years after the other volumes had come out. What it lacked in freshness it more than made up for in thoroughness and is by far the best of the five volumes. His article in ANRW is almost a book in its own right and is a must-read for tying together the explorations with subsequent thoughts in the field of Antiochene studies plus a wealth of historical detail on structures in the city. His great specialty is the colonnaded street.
La ville d'Antioche à l'époque romaine d'après l'archéologie Aufstieg und Niedergang Teil II.8 (1977) 54-102

Les Portiques d'Antioche, Princeton 1972

Joseph, Pere Michaud - This French priest, with a bad case of wanderlust, was an important scholar of the Crusades. In the interests of veracity he decided to go and visit the places of historical import. The difference here is that he went in the 1830s when he had to contend with brigands, and brigandish Ottoman officials. Eventually he got to Antioch and from there he despatched letters to his friends. These were gathered together in at least eight volumes. The one of most relevance is the following in which he quite literally walks the whole of the city walls and counts towers, seeking out the sites from the Siege of Antioch.

Correspondance d'Orient, 1830-1831, By Joseph Fr. Michaud, Baptistin Poujoulat pp 104-144
A.F.Norman: This scholar was a professor at the University of Liverpool. This work is a translation of some of the Orations of Libanius, including the most important the Antiochikos (Or. XI). The footnotes are not all that great. There is a useful bibliography. All in all we prefer the Downey version. This volume also includes the Orations XXXI, LXII, XXXXIII, XXXVI, XXXXII, LV and III. These seem to be a mix less of the Hellenic culture of Antioch than of Libanius's travails and personal gripes (which Libanius was never one to keep to himself!).

Antioch as a Centre of Hellenic Culture as Observed by Libanius, A.F.Norman, Liverpool University Press, 2000.

George Haddad: This scholar wrote a thesis at the University of Chicago in the late 1940s which is still the last word on socail life in Antioch. If one wants to read how the Antiochenes partied, this is the work to go to. The author swiftly went on to become the Professor of Ancient Hirtory at the University of Syria and then, alas, disappeared from the flow of things. This work covers a myriad of topics related to the arts, thinking, the lifestyles, attitudes and even ethnic groups that made up the Antiochene pysche.
Aspects of Social Life in Antioch in the Hellenistic-Roman Period, PhD, Univ. of Chicago 1949

Julian: It is not common that an emperor also had something intellectual to bring to the table. The two most enduring examples are Marcus Aurelius and Julian the Apostate. In the case of the latter the object of his essay was the haughty Antiochenes. The translated Loeb text of the Misopogon can be found here.
Bouchier, Edmund Spenser: We hankered after a copy of this for a long time even though we had seen a critique somewhere. Finally we found it in a digitised version here:

A Short History of Antioch, Oxford, Blackwell, 1921
No sooner are we a few pages in and we discover a major faux pas with the five bridges connecting the Island to other side of the Orontes and two bridges connecting the Island to the main part of the city. This flies in the face of Libanius and plain logic. Then we got all excited to see in the contents that page 238 had a picture of the Bridge Gate. We get there and find that it is just the very well known etching by Casas of the St Paul Gate that the author has mistitled. This casts a pall over whatever else is said.
Christine Kondoleon. It is not usual that an exhibition catalogue excites us, but this work is an important contribution to Antioch studies for the many and varied essays it contains. It also brings together photos of some of the more prosaic items discovered in the 1930s excavations (and later). Our one criticism would be the addition of non-Antioch items as fillers or examples. In any case, this is a must have item.

Antioch: The lost ancient city. Princeton, NJ. 2000

Browning, Robert. This is the first of the modern commentaries on the riots (the so-called revolt of the Statues) in 387 AD. Browning makes a good case of the disturbances being caused by the "rent-a-crowd" agitators and idlers that hung around the theatre and hippodrome in Antioch.

The Riot of A.D. 387 in Antioch: The Role of the Theatrical Claques in the Later Empire, The Journal of Roman Studies, Vol. 42, Parts 1 and 2, (1952), pp. 13-20

Quiroga Puertas, Alberto. This work is a doctoral dissertation by a candidate of the University of Granada. It focuses on the Orations XIX-XXIII of Libanius with side excursions into the homilies of Chyrsostom on the events of 387 AD. This is a truly massive work and a must-read in tying together the historical and religious tensions that rent Antioch in its "Golden Age". These were the tectonic plates rubbing together under a vulnerable city. This scholar has also produced other works on Antioch & Libanius in Spanish.

Relacion retorica-historica-mitologia en los discursos XIX-XXIII de Libanio de Antioquia, Univ. de Granada, Tesis Doctoral. ISBN: 84 338 37 346 Depósito Legal: Gr 2435-2005

Lestrange, Guy. This author wrote the book which reveals quite a bit of urban history isn the "dark" period from 530 AD until the Crusader seige. In this volume he devotes a chapter to the Arab-speaking authors who worte about their travels to Antakiyyah. This is immensely useful on several fronts as its talks about the churches, their state and how they were demolished or scavanged for materials. It also talks about the remnants of temples and other structures from the Classical period. It is only one chapter but manages to group together quite a lot of visitors through the site, some brief, some quite detailed.

Palestine under the Moslems, London, 1890.

Hirth, Freidrich. This author's work sheds a totally new light on the Antioch story because he finds references to Chinese visitors who made it to the Roman Orient and carried back their views of what they had seen and put them to paper. We are particularly amused to see his comment (made in 1885) of the great difficulties he had in finding a copy of Karl Otfried Muller's Antiquitates. Some things never change! The section on Antioch in the below is only around five pages but well worth reading for insights into the extent of the city, the walls and gates and the best account of the clepsydrae.

China and the Roman Orient, researches into their ancient and medieval relations. as represented in old Chinese records. Leipzig, 1885

White, Karin. We could not resist making reference to the following article. Its connection to Antioch is slight but quite amazing in light of later history. Basically it posits that that the Roma (gypsy) groups moved from India to the West in the period up until the 11th century and that their transit was via Antioch (where they were known as the Zott) with arivals in 669, 710 and 720 AD. There initial task was to rid the area of lions that preyed upon travellers. We have seen references to these lion "outbreaks" before but it is a very novel new spin that the Roma "fixed" the problem. Apparently they were then summoned to Constantinople to deal with predators ravaging the imperial game preserve. There you go!

Catherine Saliou is an academic at the University of Poitiers and one of the most important current authors on Antioch and the other cities of the region. She has bravely picked up the baton of Jean Lassus on the subject of colonnaded streets and added significantly to scholarship with her writings on the bathing establishments of the city. I have not yet got my hands on the bathing articles but the following is a very interesting exposition on the veracity of the claims relating to the positioning of the Golden Octagon and the "nearby" Porta Tauriana. An excellent piece that overturns some conventional wisdom on these subjects.

« À propos de la Taurianè pulè. Remarques sur la localisation présumée de la Grande Église d’Antioche de Syrie », Syria 77, 2000, p. 217-226.

The elusive piece on the baths is:

« Bains d’été et bains d’hiver : Antioche dans l’empire romain », dans B. Cabouret, P.-L. Gatier, C. Saliou (éd.) Antioche de Syrie, Histoire, images et traces de la ville antique = Topoi, Supplément 5 (Lyon 2004), p. 289-309.

Malalas: this is a key ancient source. He is little translated but copiously utilised, though an Australian team in recent decades converted his works into English. We attach here a link to a translation of Eighth Book in the 1831 version by Dindorf in Greek. It is useful for reading Malalas's spin on the early days of the city under the Seleucids.

Johannes Malalas, BOOK 8 (pages 192-213)

Lew Wallace: we might as well throw some fiction into the mix, as it is sometimes hard to discriminate fact from fiction in writers like Malalas. Mr Wallace was in fact a Civil War General and author if the book Ben Hur. Most know the movie but I read the book when I was fourteen. It took me six months as it was quite a chunky publication andf there were other distractions at that age. Here I have discovered an excerpt that specifically relates to the chariot race scene, which was a highlight also of the movie. Before we dismiss it as lightweight I would note that a recent thesis I read on magic practices in the ancient hippodromes begins with a discourse on the chariot race scene in the film!

Ben Hur, Lew Wallace.


Jonathan Tallon said...

Thank you for your fantastic resource on Antioch. A possible addition to your bibliography would be J H W G Liebeschuetz, Antioch: City and Imperial Administration in the Later Roman Empire, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1972. This is excellent on a range of issues (politics, Christianization, economics, etc) as well as a large introduction to Libanius.

Jonathan Tallon

Libanius_Redux said...

Good suggestion. I have used the book too.. but after I wrote up the bibliography.. in fact big chunks of it can be found at:

but with the obligatory deletion of pages just when the story starts getting exciting..