This is the first in-depth guide to Greek and Latin literature between the 1st century BC and the 6th century AD. Working from Friedrich Schlegel's observation that art, customs and political life in classical antiquity are closely intertwined, Albrecht Dihle produces a history which encompasses not only literature but all works of cultural and socio-historical significance, including Jewish and Christian literature. His study also shows how the mutual interpenetration of Greek and Roman culture during the Empire, and especially during the period of Christianization, made possible the formation of a unified and vastly influential classical culture.
Dihle discusses poetry and prose, letters and scholarly investigations, philosophy and rhetoric, historical writing and jurisprudence, giving individual attention to major authors like Seneca, Tacitus, Plotinus and Augustine, as well as other writers who made significant contributions to their fields and have been unjustly forgotten. Also addressed are the exact sciences--geography, medicine, mathematics and technology.
As the work of a single author, "Greek and Latin Literature of the Roman Empire" is a towering achievement--an authoritative yet personal presentation of 700 years of cultural life. This book provides unprecedented synoptic treatment of an unusually rich period of history.
"This book is a wonderful addition to the literary history of the roman Empire--and of the church. It covers classical, Jewish, and Christian literature in Greek and Latin down to the eight century. And that makes it a unique addition to the repertoire available to students... Dihle knows this literature well...Anyone who reads this graceful book will be more learned than before, and certainly more understanding of the course of Christian history. I hope it gets the wide reading it deserves."
-Edgar Krentz, Currents in Theology and Mission