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Arts and Humanities

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Abstract

For Homer, Cicero, and Ovid, exile is equivalent to death, or even worse. Vergil's Aeneas is torn between his old homeland of Troy and the new home he must create in Italy, but he overcomes his nostalgia. Aeneas is consoled by the Stoic doctrine that he is obeying Fate, which governs the entire world, and by the Cynic view that he can carry his true self and identity with him anywhere he goes. In Book 6 of the Aeneid, he is given a revelation about reincarnation that is based on the Republics of Plato and Cicero. This teaching that all of life is an exile from heaven contrasts sharply with the worldly mission of conquest that Aeneas must follow in Italy. Vergil's sympathies lie with the exile rather than the conqueror.

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Abstract

Eurydice could not come back to this world because Orpheus looked back at her. Persephone had forbidden this, but Orpheus disobeyed. Is there a logic for such a rule? A relief in the Archaeological Museum in Naples shows Orpheus looking at his wife after having removed a veil from her face, and the face of dead persons was a sensible element in ancient funerary art. We find two forms of hiding their face: by veiling it or by depicting the person but not the face, by leaving it unwrought. Euripides and several Roman sarcophagi depict Alcestis with her head veiled after her return to the house of her husband. On the other hand, some funerary busts from the necropolis of Cyrene show deceased women with their face flat and many sarcophagi of the Roman period are completely sculptured except the face of the buried person. The current explanation based on an untimely death cannot explain the large number of such cases; it would have been absurd to wait for the death of the customer before carving his or her portrait. There was a religious rule forbidding the vision of the face of dead persons, but it is impossible to ascertain what kind of people abided by this law and what religious stream forbade this.

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Abstract

The nostos, the return home in Greek mythology, is most often a journey over the sea, and it is the god Poseidon who rules the sea, both ensuring the safe passage of fishermen and sailors and causing disasters to individuals like Ajax son of Oileus, sometimes through obstacles like his daughter Charybdis. Most famously, he uses his power to hinder the nostos of Odysseus, all the while knowing he cannot prevent him from reaching home. This example illustrates how a god who may once have been the most powerful deity can no longer control ultimate results. As his power declines over the centuries, that of Zeus increases.

It is also by sea that we see the ships in Isaiah 23, attempting to return to their homes in Sidon and Tyre on the eastern Mediterranean coast. In this Biblical passage from the eighth century BCE, the ships wail when they see that their seaport homes have been destroyed; there are no homes to which they can return. The great god of the Sea and the epichoric gods have failed to protect the cities which are considered their progeny. The Israelite prophet mocks their powerlessness and celebrates the power of his One God. There is no nostos, no homecoming for ships because they no longer have homes. Just as Poseidon could not prevent Odysseus from his nostos, the so-called Averter of Disaster has not prevented the disaster that has befallen his children.

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Abstract

This paper uses a corpus linguistic approach to investigate finite verbs co-occurring with infinitives. It aims to explore a range of similar verbs along a set of formal-distributional features based on Kálmán C. et al.'s (1989) study. We used hierarchical agglomerative clustering to analyze the data. The analysis identifies four clusters, two comprising verbs more auxiliary-like than the others. The results of this experiment are broadly similar to those of Kálmán C. et al. (1989); however, we also find remarkable differences. Most importantly, the so-called stress-avoiding verbs are likely to occur between the preverb and its associated infinitive, indicating that they are much closer to central auxiliaries than previously assumed.

Open access

Ornas (also Hornach) appears in the mentions of several Latin authors in the mid-thirteenth century as an important city deep in Asia that had been conquered by the Mongols. There have been several past suggestions by scholars for its identity; the scattered mentions of Ornas (Hornach) have been variously suggested to refer to Tana, Otrar, or Konye-Urgench. The present paper argues that these references, though confused on matters of geography since the Western European authors were writing about largely unknown regions that they did not personally visit, are typically references to the city of Konye-Urgench. The Latin authors’ descriptions of its fall to the Mongols unquestionably draw parallels with Middle Eastern, Rus’, Chinese, and Mongol accounts. This paper argues that the Latin references to Ornas’ proximity to a nearby sea are related to the Aral Sea which had southerly stretches very close to Konya-Urgench as is indicated, for instance from Russian survey maps of the nineteenth century. This identification allows us to place John of Plano Carpini’s description of the fall of Ornas within a larger, cohesive narrative which, though confused on points, offers insights on the fall of the Khwarazmian Empire in the early 1220s.

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This paper focuses on a newly identified Sanskrit manuscript of the Saptaguṇavarṇanā parikathā (The Sermon Describing the Seven Qualities), which is currently preserved at the Drepung Monastery in Tibet. It presents the Sanskrit version of the text for the first time, provides a critical edition and translation, and offers a comparative analysis of the Tibetan translation and the Tangut manuscript, known as Инв. № 804. The paper addresses mistakes and omissions in the Sanskrit manuscript, Tibetan and Tangut translations, as well as related misreadings in the scholarship, thus advancing understanding of non-sūtra texts in Tangut Buddhism.

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The aim of the article is to explore the relationship between cosmo-anthropogony and the imamology of Shi’ism through its earliest sources in the pre-Buyid Hadith corpus. It shows that the figure of the Divine Guide is the axis around which creation revolves. Early Shi’ism thus appears to be heir to some of the great doctrines of the spiritual and intellectual traditions of late Antiquity.

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In this article I intended to further explore Jürgen Frembgen’s supposition about the late presence of the spotted hyena in South Asia with the help of available textual sources. My aim was to determine what kind of animal is meant by the word tarakṣu, which is the common Sanskrit name for the hyena.

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