Monthly Archives: September 2009

Grad school applications

As usual, I need some advice on applying to grad schools.

1) List or do not list the blog on one’s CV?
2) What kind of a “tone” does one take in a Statement of Purpose? Do you share anecdotes or no? Do you mention specific professors and specific books by said professors? How do you brag without bragging? I’m finding this particularly hard to write.

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Friday is for Funny Words

᾿Αλλα χάρις τῷ θεῷ κατὰ πάντων γὰρ (ο διαβολος) οὐκ ἴσχυσεν. ὁ γὰρ γενναιότατος Γερρμανικὸς ἐπερρώννυεν αὐτῶν τὴν δειλίαν διὰ τῆς ἐν αὐτῷ ὑπομονῆς. ὃς καὶ ἐπισήμως ἐθηριομάχησεν. βουλομένου γὰρ τοῦ ἀνθυπάτου πείθειν αὐτὸν καὶ λέγοντος τήν ἡλικίαν αὐτου κατοικτεῖραι, ἐαυτῶ ἐπεσπασατο τὸ θηρίον προσβιασάμενος, τὰχιον τοῦ ἀδίκου καὶ ἀνόμου βίου ἀπαλλαγῆναι βουλόμενος. ΜΑΡΤΥΡΙΟΝ ΠΟΛΥΚΑΡΠΟΥ 3.1

But thanks be to go God that the devil did not prevail against them all. For the most noble Germanicus encouraged the fearful ones through his own endurance. He also fought with beasts. The proconsul wished to persuade him by saying that he should give thought to his age. Though he dragged the beasts towards himself, desiring to be swiftly released from their lawless and unjust life. Martyrdom of Polycarp 3.1

This week’s funny word is ἐθηριομάχησεν – “he beast-fought”. Literal translations often sound odd or funny, but I really chuckled over this one when I first read it. “Beastfighting”.

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Christianity and Classics

Currently I’m in the midst of getting all of my applications together for grad school next year. I’ve gone back and forth on a particular issue and so I wanted to ask the Biblioblogger community their thoughts.

If my interests are in Christianity in the Late Antique, why shouldn’t I apply to Classics programs? Why isn’t Christianity studied as another religion among many in the Roman empire?

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Arrived today from Augsburg Fortress Press

I received from Augsburg Fortress Press both of these books in the mail today for review:

The Rise of Christian Beliefs: The Thought World of Early Christians -Heikki Räisänen

Religious Experience in Earliest Christianity: A Missing Dimension in New Testament Studies – Luke Timothy Johnson

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Martyrdom of Polycarp as Encouragment for Self-Denial

2.3 For even when they were so torn by whips that the internal structure of their flesh was visible as far as the inner veins and arteries, they endured so patiently that even the bystanders had pity and wept. But they themselves reached such a level of bravery that not one of them uttered a cry or a groan, thus showing to us all that the very hour when they were being tortured the martyrs of Christ were absent from the flesh, or rather that the Lord was standing by and conversing with them. And turning their thoughts to the grace of Christ they despised the tortures of this world, purchasing at the cost of one hour an exemption from eternal punishment. And the fire of their inhuman torturers felt cold to them, for they set before their eyes the escape from that eternal fire which is never extinguished, while with the eyes of their heart they gazed upon the good things that are reserved for those who endure patiently, things that neither ear has heard nor eye has seen, nor has it entered into the human heart, but that were shown to them by the Lord, for they were no longer humans, but already angels. (Trans. Michael Holmes in his Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations)

In my bi-weekly Ancient Greek Reading Group we have begun to read the Martyrdom of Polycarp after finishing Book IX of the Odyssey.  Having recently read J. Warren Smith’s article Martyrdom: Self-Denial or Self-Exaltation? Motives for Self-Sacrifice From Homer to Polycarp: A Theological Reflection(Modern Theology 22, April 2006), I’m reading this text with fresh eyes. The section of text there is incredibly gory – ” μεχρι των εσω φλεβων και αρτηριων την της σαρκος οικονομιαν θεωρεισθαι” – and for good purpose. The author of this text is trying to get people to stop throwing themselves to the Romans as cowardly Quintus had done (who ultimately rejected Christ at the last hour) and to suffer martyrdom, if it be necessary, “according to the Gospel”, that is, as Jesus Christ and Polycarp both did – by allowing the Romans to come and get you.

I also learned a couple new Greek words in this section. The first is εξαγοραζομενος – which  means “paying off” or “purchashing”, but you “buy” X in the genitive with “Y” in the accusative. Very interesting.

The other word is one I already knew, but with a different meaning. In 2.4 we see κηρυκας not as “heralds”, but rather “Trumpet shells.” These shells were placed under those being tortured to make things less comfortable.

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GRE Test Prep Help

I’ve found this site helpful in preparing me for the dreaded GRE: http://www.number2.com (I’m supposing that number 2 refers to the pencils and not something else).

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Biblioblog Top 137

That’s right – I’m in the top 137. This is a real “Dear Diary” moment. If you too are in the top 137 blogs, feel free to post this very attractive picture on your website:

BiblioblogSpoof

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