Review by Choice Review
This volume seeks to provide "comprehensive and reliable introductions to pagan, Jewish, and Christian writings of late antiquity concerned with theological, philosophical, and religio-historical issues" from the fourth century BCE to the sixth century CE. The work is unusual in being indexed by the titles of ancient texts, rather than by author or subject. Entries are listed alphabetically "according to their most commonly used titles." Unfortunately, many of the ancient texts indexed do not have standardized English titles, making the book somewhat difficult to navigate initially. The "Index to Ancient Authors" at the end of the volume provides some help. Systematic inclusion of ancient language titles and standard abbreviations would enhance the book's value. Criteria for inclusion are not always clear. No Manichaean texts are included, for example. Justinian's Digest is included, but the Theodosian Code is not. Ammianus Marcellinus is included, but not Zosimus. Despite these criticisms, individual entries are clear, concise, and accurate, with references to critical editions, English translations, and standard secondary literature. Helpfully, the Mishnah and Talmud are indexed by individual tractate. In sum, this book would be a worthwhile addition to the reference collection of research libraries, and a useful complement to existing encyclopedias of late antiquity. Summing Up: Recommended. Upper-level undergraduates through faculty/researchers; general readers. J. Schott University of North Carolina at Charlotte
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.