Wednesday, August 01, 2018

Review of König and Woolf (eds.), Authority and Expertise in Ancient Scientific Culture

ANCIENT JEW REVIEW: Book Note | Authority and Expertise in Ancient Scientific Culture (Jessica Wright).
Jason König and Greg Woolf, eds. Authority and Expertise in Ancient Scientific Culture. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2017
While the ancient texts examined in this volume are marginal to the classical canon, the chapters are exemplary in their accessible presentation of the material for non-specialist audiences, and individual chapters could fruitfully be included in advanced undergraduate or graduate syllabi. As a whole, the volume provides compelling evidence that various, interrelated “techniques of self-authorisation” were employed across (what the modern reader might categorize as) different scientific and technical genres, as a means not only for professionals to establish their credentials, but also for non-professionals to situate themselves in the social and political networks of the late Republic and the Roman Empire.
This book was edited by two of my St. Andrews colleagues in Classics and a number of other colleagues contributed to it.

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