Philosophy & History
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Wolfe, Alan: The Culture of Cultural Studies

[Partisan Review, Summer 1996. © Alan Wolfe] “Cultural studies” is the latest wave to wash over humanities departments in the United States, following French literary theory and the new historicism. Inspired mostly by British writers such as Raymond Williams, Richard Hoggart, and Stuart Hall, cultural studies examines the ways popular culture shapes ordinary people’s perceptions of the world -and how it provides tools of “resistance” against the hierarchies of advanced capitalism. Although borrowing from its οwn coterie of Continental thinkers, especially Pierre Bourdieu and Michel Foucault -let alone the theorists of the Frankfurt School- compared to the deterministic logic of poststructuralism, cultural studies is refreshingly humanistic. It is less pompous and can, at times, even display a sense of humor, and it recognizes the importance of writing in ways accessible to the uninitiated. The rise of cultural studies is a reaction among the politically engaged against the defeatism inherent in...

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Ward-Perkins, Bryan: The Impact of Christianity

From The Cambridge Ancient History, Vol. XIII. After Christianity became the usual religion of the emperors from 312 onwards, it spread more rapidly than before through the cities of the empire, and a gradual process began whereby the traditional pagan cults were starved of patronage by the civic and imperial authorities. Throughout the empire this change affected urban populations first, long before the new religion made any significant inroads into the countryside. The conversion of the towns was indeed the one essential step needed for the eventual spread of Christianity throughout society, since the conversion of the countryside was to be achieved partly through the influence of landowners and their building of estate-churches; most of these landowners probably acquired their new religion through exposure to it during sojourns in the cities. The demise of paganism and the spread of Christianity were by no means uniform processes, and even neighbouring civitates...

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Pirenne, Henri: The Expansion of Islam in the Mediterranean Basin [3]

From H.Pirenne’s «Mohammed & Charlemagne», Dover Publications, INC. Mineola, New York. 3. Venice and Byzantium It may be said that the Islamic invasion was as decisive for the East as for the West of Europe. Before this invasion the Emperor of Constantinople was still the Roman Emperor. The policy of Justinian in this respect is characteristic: he claimed that the entire Mediterranean was subject to the Imperial authority. After the invasion, on the contrary, the Emperor was reduced to the defensive in Greek waters, until in the 11th century he appealed to the West for assistance. Islam immobilized and engrossed him. Here we have the whole explanation of his policy. Henceforth the Occident was closed to him. Once Africa and Carthage were lost, after an obstinate defence under disastrous conditions, the sphere of action of Byzantine policy was confined to Italy; but even here only the coastal regions were retained....

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Pirenne, Henri: The Expansion of Islam in the Mediterranean Basin [2]

From H.Pirenne’s «Mohammed & Charlemagne», Dover Publications, INC. Mineola, New York. 2. The Closing of the Western Mediterranean So long as the Mediterranean remained Christian, it was the Oriental navigation that maintained commercial intercourse with the Occident. Syria and Egypt were its two principal centres; and these two wealthy provinces were the very first to fall under the domination of Islam. It would obviously be an error to believe that this domination put an end to all economic activity. Although there was great confusion and disorder, and although many Syrians migrated to the Occident, we must not suppose that the economic machinery collapsed. Damascus had become the first capital of the Caliphate. Spices were still imported, papyrus was still manufactured, the seaports were still active. Once they paid taxes to the conquerors, the Christians were not molested. Commerce, therefore, continued, but its direction was changed.(41) It goes without saying that...

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Pirenne, Henri: The Expansion of Islam in the Mediterranean Basin [1]

From H.Pirenne’s «Mohammed & Charlemagne», Dover Publications, INC. Mineola, New York. 1. The Islamic Invasion Nothing could be more suggestive, nothing could better enable us to comprehend the expansion of Islam in the 7th century, than to compare its effect upon the Roman Empire with that of the Germanic invasions. These latter invasions were the climax of a situation which was as old as the Empire, and indeed even older, and which had weighed upon it more or less heavily throughout its history. When the Empire, its frontiers penetrated, abandoned the struggle, the invaders promptly allowed themselves to become absorbed in it, and as far as possible they maintained its civilization, and entered into the community upon which this civilization was based. On the other hand, before the Mohammedan epoch the Empire had had practically no dealings with the Arabian peninsula.(1) It contented itself with building a wall to protect...

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Pirenne, Henri: The Renaissance and the Transormation of Social Life to the North of the Alps

From “A History of Europe”, translated by Bernard Miall, Anchor Books, © University Books Inc There was, it seems, a rather striking difference between the intellectual evolution of Italy during the Renaissance and that of the countries lying to the north of the Alps. In Italy the new orientation of ideas, manners, and artistic feeling began at the very moment when the economic development of the nation had reached its apogee. It was not contemporary with this development, but subsequent to it, and while the intellectual movement continued to progress the economic development was already beginning to decline. This intellectual development was the fine flower of the entire civilization that preceded it; the product of thought and beauty succeeding to the product of force. This development was not unlike that of ancient Greece in the days of Pericles: Athens in the 4th century, and Florence in the middle of the...

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Morris, Roderick Conway: the first rebirth of Roman culture

RIMINI, Italy 4 July 2008 In December 1231, the Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II passed through Rimini. An inscription commemorates the event, noting that his entourage included “elephants, camels and other monstrous beasts.” Other contemporary sources describe his peripatetic court traveling with lions, leopards, lynxes and panthers, with their Saracen keepers; apes, giraffes and bears; and ostriches, peacocks, Syrian doves and all kinds of birds of prey. Accompanied by scholars, poets, musicians, artists, craftsmen and his Muslim mercenary bodyguards, Frederick – called “stupor mundi,” the astonishment of the world – moved around his domains, which at their peak stretched from Jerusalem, through Sicily and Italy to Germany beyond the Alps. Such teeming cavalcades of exotic beasts had not been seen since the heyday of the Roman Empire. And it was Frederick’s intention to revive the glories of Rome’s past in every respect, an ambition that ultimately foundered in the titanic...

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Lefkowitz, Mary: The Myth of the Egyptian Mystery System

[From her book: Not Out of Africa: how afrocentrism became an excuse to teach myth as history, Basic Books] IN MODERN EUROPE and the European diaspora, lodges are the designated meeting-places of Freemasons and groups inspired by them. Ιn reality, the Freemasonic movement in its present form is relatively modern, and has its origins in the seventeenth century A.D.(48) But it is an article of faith in the Freemasons’ οwn histories of their movement that there were Freemasons in earliest antiquity.(49) Their rites and mythology preserve the essence of “Egyptian” mysteries and “philosophy” prevalent in late antiquity, but in a new and even more characteristically European form than anything we have seen so far. A striking quality of Freemasonry is its “imaginative attachment to the religion and symbolism of the Egyptians.”(5o) The Egypt to which the Masons refer is of course an imaginary one, but this was the Egypt that...

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Με αφορμή κουβέντες των «μεγάλων» για έναν κόσμο που σχετικώς πρόσφατα είχε καταποντισθεί και που αυτοί είχαν γνωρίσει, γεννήθηκε σε ένα πεντάχρονο παιδί ένα αίσθημα, μισό περιέργεια και μισό νοσταλγία, για τη Μικρά Ασία των δικών του από την πλευρά της μητέρας του. Περνώντας από τα ακούσματα στα βιβλία και τα οικογενειακά χαρτιά, η γνώση για τις μικρασιατικές του ρίζες έγινε με τον καιρό πιο στέρεη και πήγε στον χρόνο πιο βαθιά, ώσπου στα δεκαεννέα του αξιώθηκε την πρώτη επίσκεψη στην άλλη πλευρά του Αιγαίου.


Καζάκος Πάνος

Έτοιμη για το μέλλον;

Η Ευρώπη μετά
την αναθεώρηση των συνθηκών

Το βιβλίο αυτό εξετάζει, πρώτον, τις αλλαγές που επιφέρει η Μεταρρυθμιστική Συνθήκη στους κανόνες της ευρωπαϊκής ενοποίησης και, δεύτερον, τις πιθανές επιπτώσεις της σε πολιτικές και συσχετισμούς! Αναδεικνύει ευκρινώς μόνιμα ευρωπαϊκά διλήμματα σχετικά με – το οικονομικό μοντέλο (φιλελεύθερη Ευρώπη» έναντι «ευρωπαϊκού κοινωνικού μοντέλου»), – τη στρατηγική ασφαλείας («ειρηνική» (civilian) ή «στρατιωτική» δύναμη) και – την ταυτότητα της αυριανής Ευρώπης, που έχουν τη θέση τους σε ένα ανοιχτό διάλογο. Εξετάζονται επίσης τα ερωτήματα αν και πως οι απαντήσεις της Μεταρρυθμιστικής Συνθήκης θα επηρεάσουν τη θέση της Ελλάδας στο θεσμικό σύστημα της Ένωσης, την εξωτερική της ασφάλεια, τις οικονομικές πολιτικές της και τις ροές πόρων.



"Καλησπέρα σας κύριε Σεφέρη"

«Ο Σεφέρης εκεί, άλλοτε σκοτεινός, άλλοτε ευανάγνωστος διέτρεχε τα χρόνια, πιο πολύ στα δύσκολα, πιο αραιά στα εύκολα, σύντροφος στα κουπιά. Πάντοτε όμως, ένας οικείος άγνωστος. Πώς θα ήταν, αναρωτήθηκα, αν άνοιγα μια κουβέντα μαζί του; Να του ζητήσω να μας πει για τη Σμύρνη, το φευγιό για την Αθήνα, την ποίηση, τη διχασμένη του καρδιά, για την πολιτική, την Κύπρο που λάτρεψε, τον Θεόφιλο και τον Μακρυγιάννη, τη μουσική, την Μαρώ, το γυρισμό του ξενιτεμένου, τον ελληνισμό στον οποίον πίστεψε τόσο πολύ;»




Στο βιβλίο αυτό παρατίθενται όλες οι αρχαίες πηγές και οι επιστημονικές θεωρίες που έχουν διατυπωθεί για τη Mάχη του Μαραθώνα, συμπεριλαμβανομένης της άποψης του συγγραφέα, η οποία βασίζεται στις γραπτές μαρτυρίες και κυρίως στην αφήγηση του Ηρόδοτου. Πλήρης βιβλιογραφία, από το 17ο αιώνα μέχρι σήμερα, και σπάνιοι χάρτες, συμπληρώνουν την έκδοση.