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Logos: Centre for the Study of Ancient Systems of Knowledge

The Centre

The LOGOS Research Centre ran between 2001 and 2014 (when it was absorbed within the new Centre for the Literatures of the Roman Empire). It conducted a number of collaborative research projects focused on the systems of knowledge by which Greeks and Romans organised their understanding and description of the world.

Members of the Centre brought together expertise, and an impressive research track record, in the study of science and religion, of legal, mathematical, aesthetic and philosophical modes of thought, and in historiographical and hermeneutic traditions of writing. A special focus of common interest has been the means by which writing and the production of texts were employed to create elaborate intellectual systems in antiquity. Alongside our philological concerns with texts of this kind, we have been committed to situating these systems of knowledge in relation to systems of power. Some of us have worked on projects explicitly exploring the relationships between ancient imperialisms and ancient thought. Others have been engaged in research on complex philosophical and quasi-philosophical texts. The Centre was designed to foster closer collaboration between these activities, and sponsor new initiatives.

The Centre was based in the School of Classics with the participation of academic staff from Divinity, English, History and Philosophy, together with members of other Schools whose interests include the ancient world.

The Centre's activity has recently been focused on two projects in particular, outlined in more detail below. In addition, we are currently developing a number of new projects, including one on the relationship between late-Republican/Augustan and imperial Greek literature (a preliminary conference is due to be held on 5-6 September 2013). A conference on 'ancient cosmologies' was held in November 2012.

In August 2014 the Logos Centre was absorbed within the School's new Centre for the Literatures of the Roman Empire. We envisage ongoing work on the scientific and encyclopaedic writing of the imperial period as one major strand of the new Centre's activity.

Science and Empire in the Roman World

Dr. Jason König and Prof. Greg Woolf have directed a three-year research project, generously funded by the Leverhulme Trust, on the relationship between scientific enterprise and imperialism during the Roman Empire. That project finished in September 2010.

A massive scientific literature survives from the Roman period. Composed in both Greek and Latin, it encompasses what are today regarded as many different genres among them works variously classified as miscellanistic, encyclopedic, biographical, philosophical, scientific, didactic, medical, technical and historical. A central preoccupation of the age was how best to order knowledge through text. Much of this writing, and the emergent intellectual disciplines and scientific practices which lay behind it, were influenced to some degree by the imperial structures through which the human and material world was governed, and the civic structures within which most scholars lived. Rhetorical education, the agonistic competition of ancient elite members, the all pervasive awareness of hierarchies and of genealogy are written deep into all these texts. Empire created libraries and enabled a new intellectual cosmopolitanism and imperial conquest brought back new information and specimens from the ends of the earth. Ancient authors were fond of comparing their works to empire in terms of their comprehensive reach and power to outdo their predecessors. Tracing the interconnections between colonialism and intellectual acquisitiveness, between imperial order and the ordering of the natural world and between social values and scientific practice has long been a preoccupation of the history of science of more recent imperial periods.

The Trust's grant made possible a series of meetings and conferences. Three project volumes are now in preparation, one on 'Encyclopaedias and Encyclopaedism from Antiquity to the Renaissance' (forthcoming 2013), one on 'Ancient Libraries' (forthcoming 2013), and one on 'Expertise and Authority in Roman Imperial literature and culture' (in preparation).

Project website: http://www.st-andrews.ac.uk/classics/science-and-empire/

Plato in the Stoa

A research project coordinated by Alex Long on Plato's legacy in Stoicism. This project explores responses to Plato in Stoic writing and thought from Zeno to Marcus Aurelius. Two workshops in 2008-9 were funded by the British Academy and the Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies:

  • Saturday 9 May 2009 - Plato’s Timaeus and its legacy
  • Saturday 6 September 2008 - Plato’s legacy in Stoicism

A volume of essays is currently in preparation.

Publications

Plato and the Stoics
Long, A. G. (ed.) Sep 2013 Cambridge University Press. 209 p.
Research output: Book/ReportBook

Greek Miscellanistic Writing in the High Roman Empire
Oikonomopoulou, K. 2013 Unknown Publisher.
Research output: Book/ReportBook

Aratus and the Astronomical Tradition
Gee, E. R. G. 2013 New York: Oxford University Press. 309 p. (Classical Culture and Society)
Research output: Book/ReportBook

Encyclopaedism from Antiquity to the Renaissance
König, J. P. (ed.) & Woolf, G. (ed.) 2013 Cambridge University Press.
Research output: Book/ReportBook

Ancient Libraries
König, J. P. (ed.), Oikonomopoulou, K. (ed.) & Woolf, G. (ed.) 2013 Cambridge University Press. 499 p.
Research output: Book/ReportBook

The Philosopher's Banquet: Plutarch's Table Talk in the Intellectual Culture of the Roman Empire
Oikonomopoulou, K. (ed.) & Klotz, F. (ed.) 2011 Oxford University Press.
Research output: Book/ReportBook

Tales of the Barbarians: Ethnography and Empire in the Roman West
Woolf, G. 2011 Wiley-Blackwell. 175 p. (Blackwell Bristol Lectures on Greece, Rome and the Classical Tradition)
Research output: Book/ReportBook

 

Philosophy andphilosophi: From Cicero to Apuleius
Hine, H. M. 2015 Roman Reflections: Studies in Latin Philosophy. Williams, G. D. & Volk, K. (eds.). New York: Oxford University Press, p. 13-29 17 p.
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Consolation to Polybius
Hine, H. M. 2014 Seneca, Hardship and Happiness: Translations by Elaine Fantham, Harry M. Hine, James Ker, and Gareth D. Williams. Asmis, E., Bartsch, S. & Nussbaum, M. C. (eds.). Chicago, London: University of Chicago Press, p. 77-104 27 p. (The Complete Works of Lucius Annaeus Seneca)
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Consolation to Marcia
Hine, H. M. 2014 Seneca, Hardship and Happiness: Translations by Elaine Fantham, Harry M. Hine, James Ker, and Gareth D. Williams. Asmis, E., Bartsch, S. & Nussbaum, M. C. (eds.). Chicago, London: University of Chicago Press, p. 1-41 41 p. (The Complete Works of Lucius Annaeus Seneca)
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Isis and the evolution of religions
Woolf, G. 2014 Power, Politics, and the Cults of Isis: Proceedings of the Vth International Conference of Isis Studies, Boulogne-sur-Mer, October 13-15 2011. Bricault, L. & Versluys, M. J. (eds.). Leiden: Brill, Vol. 180, p. 62-92 (Religions of the Graeco-Roman World)
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Scientific encyclopedias
Oikonomopoulou, K. 2014 Companion to Ancient Greek and Roman Science, Technology, and Medicine. Kirby, G. L. (ed.). Wiley-Blackwell
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Literacy: Writing Materials and Practice in the Hellenistic and Roman Period
Woolf, G. 2013 Oxford Encyclopaedia of the Bible and Archaeology. Master, D. (ed.). Oxford University Press
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Female Mobility in the Latin West
Woolf, G. 2013 Women and the Roman City in the Latin West. Hemelrijk, E. & Woolf, G. (eds.). Leiden: Brill, p. 351-368 (Mnemosyne, Supplements, History and Archaeology of Classical Antiquity; vol. 360)
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Plutarch’s corpus of Quaestiones in the tradition of imperial Greek encyclopaedism
Oikonomopoulou, K. 2013 Encyclopaedias and Encyclopaedism from Antiquity to the Renaissance. Woolf, G. & König, J. (eds.). Cambridge University Press
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Landscape and reality in Apuleius' Metamorphoses
König, J. P. 2013 The construction of the real and the ideal in the ancient novel. Paschalis, M. & Panayotakis, S. (eds.). Eelde, Netherlands: Barkhuis, p. 219-241 23 p. (Ancient Narrative Supplementa; vol. 17)
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Plutarch at the symposium
Oikonomopoulou, K. 2012 The Cambridge Companion to Plutarch. Titchener, F. & Zadorozhnyy, A. (eds.). Cambridge University Press
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Rhetoricians on Homer: the ἀντινομικὸν ζήτημα of Plutarch’s Quaestiones Convivales 9.13
Oikonomopoulou, K. 2012 Homère Rhétorique. Études de Réception Antique. Dubel, S., Favreau-Linder, A-M. & Oudot, E. (eds.). Editions Rue d’Ulm, (Etudes de Littérature Ancienne)
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Reading and Religion in Rome
Woolf, G. D. 2012 Reflections on Religious Individuality: Greco-Roman and Judaeo-Christian Texts and Practices. Rüpke, J. & Spickermann, W. (eds.). Berlin: de Gruyter, p. 193-208 (Religionsgeschichtliche Versuche und Vorarbeiten; vol. 62)
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingOther contribution

Ethography and Authorial Voice in Athenaeus 'Deipnosophistae'
Oikonomopoulou, K. 2012 Ancient Ethnography: New Approaches. Almagor, E. & Skinner, J. (eds.).
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Self-promotion and self-effacement in Plutarch's Table Talk
König, J. P. 2011 The Philosopher's Banquet: Plutarch's Table Talk in the Intellectual Culture of the Roman Empire. Oikonomopoulou, K. & Klotz, F. (eds.). Oxford: Oxford University Press, p. 179-203
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Competitiveness and anti-competitiveness in Philostratus' Lives of the Sophists
König, J. P. 2011 Competition in the Ancient World. Fisher, N. & van Wees, H. (eds.). Classical Press of Wales, p. 279-300 22 p.
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Conventions of prefatory self-presentation in Galen's On the Order of my Own Books
König, J. P. Dec 2009 Galen and the World of Knowledge. Gill, C., Wilkins, J. & Whitmarsh, T. (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 35-58 24 p. (Greek Culture in the Roman World)
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Training athletes and explaining the past in Philostratus' Gymnasticus
König, J. P. Apr 2009 Philostratus. Bowie, E. & Elsner, J. (eds.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 251-283 33 p. (Greek Culture in the Roman World)
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Subjectivity and Objectivity in Latin Scientific and Technical Writing
Hine, H. M. 2009 Authorial Voices in Greco-Roman Technical Writing. Taub, L. & Doody, A. (eds.). Trier: WVT Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, p. 13-30 18 p. (Antike Naturwissenschaft und ihre Rezeption, AKAN-Einzelschriften; vol. 7)
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

From Architect to Imperator: Vitruvius and his Addressee in the De Architectura
Konig, A. R. 2009 Authorial Voices in Greco-Roman Technical Writing. Taub, L. & Doody, A. (eds.). WVT Wissenschaftlicher Verlag Trier, Vol. 7, p. 31-52 (Antike Naturwissenschaft und ihre Rezeption AKAN-Einzelschriften)
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Literacy or Literacies in Rome?
Woolf, G. 2009 Ancient Literacies: The Culture of Reading in Greece and Rome.. Johnson, W. A. & Parker, H. (eds.). Oxford University Press, p. 46-68
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Body and text in the Greek and Roman novels
König, J. P. May 2008 Cambridge Companion to the Greek and Roman Novel. Whitmarsh, T. (ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 127-144 18 p. (Cambridge Companions to Literature)
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Astronomy and Philosophical Orientation in Classical and Renaissance Didactic Poetry
Gee, E. R. G. 2008 What Nature Does Not Teach: Didactic Literature in the Medieval and Early-Modern Periods. Ruys, J. (ed.). Brepols, p. 473-496
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Sympotic dialogue in the first to fifth centuries CE
König, J. P. 2008 The End of Dialogue in Antiquity. Goldhill, S. (ed.). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, p. 85-113 29 p.
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Fragmentation and coherence in Plutarch's Sympotic Questions
König, J. P. Nov 2007 Ordering Knowledge in the Roman Empire. König, J. P. & Whitmarsh, T. (eds.). Cambridge University Press, p. 43-68
Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

 

Academic eloquence and the end of Cicero's de finibus
Long, A. G. 1 Mar 2015 In : Ancient Philosophy. 35, 1, p. 183-198
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Romanization 2.0 and its alternatives
Woolf, G. Jun 2014 In : Archaeological Dialogues. 21, 1, p. 45-50 6 p.
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Frontinus' Cameo Role in Tacitus' Agricola
König, A. R. May 2013 In : The Classical Quarterly. 63, 1, p. 361-376
Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

 

Reading Frontinus in Pliny, Epistles 5.1
König, A. R. 17 Jun 2014 Working Papers in Nervan, Trajanic and Hadrianic Literature series, hosted on the Literary Interactions project website: http://arts.st-andrews.ac.uk/literaryinteractions/, p. 1-6 6 p.
Research output: Working paper

Martial and Frontinus, under Nerva and Trajan
König, A. R. 1 Aug 2013 Working Papers on Nervan, Trajan and Hadrianic Literature: http://arts.st-andrews.ac.uk/literaryinteractions/?p=658, 19 p.(Working Papers on Nervan, Trajanic and Hadrianic Literature; no. 1.11)
Research output: Working paper

Frontinus' Authorial Voice under Domitian, Nerva and Trajan
Konig, A. R. 20 Dec 2012 p. 1-21 21 p.(Working Papers on Nervan, Trajanic and Hadrianic Literature; vol. 1, no. 3)
Research output: Working paper

Aelianus Tacticus in dialogue with Frontinus and Trajan
Konig, A. R. 27 Nov 2012 p. 1-11 11 p.(Working Papers on Nervan, Trajanic and Hadrianic Literature; vol. 1, no. 2)
Research output: Working paper

Library Building under Nerva, Trajan and Hadrian
Konig, A. R. 18 Nov 2012 p. 1-14 14 p.(Working Papers on Nervan, Trajanic and Hadrianic Literature; vol. 1, no. 1)
Research output: Working paper

 

The Structure of Enquiry in Plato's Early Dialogues (author: Vasilis Politis)
Long, A. G. Aug 2015 Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews
Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationBook/Film/Article review

Platonic Dialogue and the Education of the Reader (author: A.Cotton)
Long, A. G. 2015 The Classical Review
Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationBook/Film/Article review

 

Frontinus: Roman author and statesman (podcast)
Konig, A. R. Dec 2012
Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual Products

Literary Interactions under Nerva, Trajan and Hadrian (podcast)
Konig, A. R. Nov 2012
Research output: Non-textual formDigital or Visual Products

Latin Language Teaching and the Student Experience
Konig, A. R., Buckley, E. L. & Woodcock Kroble, M. L. 1 Oct 2012
Research output: Non-textual formWeb publication/site

Literary Interactions under Nerva, Trajan and Hadrian (website)
Konig, A. R. & Woodcock Kroble, M. L. 1 Oct 2012
Research output: Non-textual formWeb publication/site

 

Recent events

  • 5th & 6th September 2013:  Rethinking late Hellenistic Greek Literature (a two day conference organised by Jason Konig and Nicolas Wiater)
  • Friday 2 – Sunday 4 November 2012: 'Ancient Cosmologies' (jointly organised by Sarah Broadie, Alex Long and Karla Pollmann)
  • Monday 13 June 2011: Solinus in the Twenty-First Century (a one-day workshop in the School of Classics jointly organised by Greg Woolf, Joe Howley and Felix Racine)

TypFP.B10PD Courtesy of the University Library

Dr Emma Gee
Director of Logos, School of Classics, University of St Andrews, Swallowgate, Butts Wynd, St Andrews, Fife, KY16 9AL.
e-mail: ergg@st-andrews.ac.uk

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