Eve Sweetser hosts an interview with Historian LIne Cecile Engh and Cognitive Scientist Mark Turner on their research about how vivid physical metaphors in medieval monastic training manuals helped novices to form “blended selves” that shaped their identity as monks and as persons.
Scholars often characterise Polybius’ way of writing as clunky, heavy-going and unsophisticated. I fundamentally disagree with this assessment, which reflects stereotypes and prejudices about the decline of Greek literature and style after the ‘classical’ period. In this short entry, I will show that more attention to Polybius’ style, encouraged by cognitive approaches such as conceptual blending, opens up new perspectives on how this fascinating author conceived of the process of historical understanding.
Readers of the ancient Israelite book of Ezekiel have long been fascinated, bewildered, and provoked by its imagery. One well-known example is the description of the prophet’s visionary experience in the first chapter, in which he sees multi-headed creatures, wheels with eyes, and the deity seated on a throne. This text became important as a model for ancient readers who wished to have similar ecstatic experiences. In more recent times, it has inspired numerous songs, paintings, and drawings.