Bodies of Knowledge - Augustine of Hippo on the Extraordinary
Vortrag von Susanna Elm
In Book 16 of the City of God Augustine of Hippo discusses a number of bodies and persons usually described - in what he calls »too curious histories« - as montrous; bodies that can be viewed, so he says, in the mosaics of Cathargo's esplanade. Augustine is here evoking Pliny the Elder's Natural History, but Book 16 is not the only occasion in the City of God he engages extraordinary bodies. Why is Augustine so interested in such bodies, and why does he place his main discussion of them in Book 16? More importantly, how does he conceive of such extraordinary bodies, and what might that tell us about histories, too curious ones and other ones as well?
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... is a German historian and classicist. She is the Sidney H. Ehrman Professor of European History at the Department of History at the University of California, Berkeley. Her research interests include the history of the later Roman Empire, late Antiquity and early Christianity. She is Associate Editor of the journals Church History and Studies in Late Antiquity and is a member of the Editorial Board for Classical Antiquity.