Monday, November 21, 2016

Review of Chin and Vidas (eds.), Late Ancient Knowing

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | Late Ancient Knowing (Taylor Ross).
Chin, Catherine M. and Moulie Vidas, eds. Late Ancient Knowing: Explorations in Intellectual History. Oakland, CA: University of California Press, 2015.
This is, at any rate, the wager at the center of the impressive set of essays Catherine Chin and Moulie Vidas have collected in Late Ancient Knowing: Explorations in Intellectual History (2015). Each of the offerings in this volume is an exercise in “sympathetic imagination,” an experiment in imagining how the world of Late Antiquity differs from the one in which we, as scholars of the period, labor to understand it (Chin/Vidas 2015: 4). The cumulative effect is to render the late ancient world less familiar than even those most intimate with its history and texts might have otherwise supposed. For this reason alone, the book deserves to be read widely. ...