Two intriguing new titles from Mohr Siebeck

Our friends at Mohr Siebeck, who publish all manner of good stuff for Classicists, early-Church historians, and so on, have hit it out of the park with two new releases. Check out these titles, the first on ancient alphanumeric cosmology (a field which needs way more research!) and the second a collection of essays on Hypatia of Alexandria, a fascinating Platonist philosopher of late antiquity.


Juan Acevedo
Alphanumeric Cosmology From Greek into Arabic
The Idea of Stoicheia Through the Medieval Mediterranean
[Alphanumerische Kosmologie vom Griechischen zum Arabischen. Die Idee
der Stoicheia durch das mittelalterliche Mittelmeer.]

Published in English.
Juan Acevedo embarks on a semantic journey to track the origin and
adventures of the Greek term stoicheion, which for at least eighteen
centuries, from Pythagoras to Fibonacci, simultaneously meant »element«,
»letter«, and »numeral«. Focusing on this triple meaning and on how it
was translated and interpreted in Latin, Hebrew, and Arabic – especially
in key texts of the Abrahamic faiths- a metaphysical study takes shape.
With touches of alchemy and theology, it reveals how a shared
fundamental alphanumeric cosmology underlay many basic paradigms of
science and faith around the Mediterranean until the advent of the
Indo-Arabic numerals broke the »marriage« of letter and numeral. Careful
readings of Plato, Philolaos, Nicomachus and Philo, of Genesis and the
Sefer Yetsira, of the Qur’ān, the Ikhwān al-Ṣafā’, and Ibn ‘Arabī are
all woven together into a synthesis full of implications for many

Hypatia of Alexandria
Her Context and Legacy
Ed. by Dawn LaValle Norman and Alex Petkas
2020. XIV, 343 pages.
Studien und Texte zu Antike und Christentum / Studies and Texts in
Antiquity and Christianity 119

Published in English.
Sixteen hundred years after her death (d. 415 CE), the legacy of Hypatia
of Alexandria’s life, teaching, and especially her violent demise,
continue to influence modern culture. Through a series of focused
articles, this volume takes a fresh look at the most well-known ancient
female philosopher under three aspects: first, through the evidence
provided by her most famous pupil, Synesius of Cyrene; next, by placing
her in her late antique cultural context, and, finally, through analysis
of her reception both ancient and modern. Though the sources are meager,
Hypatia’s influence on her students and wider culture guaranteed that
she remained an important figure throughout the centuries, albeit one
ranging from chaste Neoplatonist to conniving witch. Along with its
eleven new essays, this volume also includes a new translation of all
the principal ancient sources touching on Hypatia.

Survey of contents
Dawn LaValle Norman/Alex Petkas: Introduction: The Timeliness of Hypatia

Hypatia and Synesius
Alex Petkas: Hypatia and the Desert: A Late Antique Defense of
Classicism – Helmut Seng: Desire and Despair: Synesius, Hypatia, and No
Consolation of Philosophy – Henriette Harich-Schwarzbauer: Synesius’
Letters to Hypatia: On the »End« of a Philosopher-Friendship and its

Hypatia in Context
Walter F. Beers: Bloody Iuvenalia: Hypatia, Pulcheria Augusta, and the
Beginnings of Cyril of Alexandria’s Episcopate – Mareile Haase: The
Shattered Icon: An Alternative Reading of Hypatia’s Killing – David
Frankfurter: The Private Devotions of Intellectual Hellenes – Sebastian
Gertz: ‘A Mere Geometer?’ Hypatia in the Context of Alexandrian Neoplatonism

Hypatia in her Ancient and Modern Reception
Joshua Fincher: Hypatia’s Sisters? Gender and the Triumph of Knowledge
in Nonnus’ Dionysiaca – Victoria Leonard: The Ideal (Bleeding?) Female:
Hypatia of Alexandria and Distorting Patriarchal Narratives – Edward
Watts: Hypatia and her Eighteenth-Century Reception – Cédric Scheidegger
Laemmle: Starring Hypatia: Amenábar’s Agora and the Tropology of Reception

Dawn LaValle Norman/Alex Petkas: Appendix A: Translation of Primary
Sources on Hypatia – Mareile Haase: Appendix B: Hypatia’s Death
According to Socrates, Hist. eccl. 7.15: A Textual Commentary