Anthony Ellis

Postdoctoral Fellow SNSF, Uni Bern

Anthony Ellis grew up in London and studied classics at the University of Edinburgh. After a Masters at St Hilda’s College, Oxford, he returned to Edinburgh to write a PhD on the role of the gods in the Histories of Herodotus of Halicarnassus. During research stays at the University of Heidelberg, the Warburg Institute, and at the University of Bern, he studied the reception of Herodotus’ theological ideas – and pre-Socratic Greek religion more generally – in the late Byzantine world, the Renaissance, and the Reformation. In Bern, he took the opportunity to learn biblical Hebrew and had his first extensive encounters with Hellenistic Jewish literature, which led his research in new directions. In 2018 he spent a term as a Polonsky Visiting Fellow at Oxford’s Centre for Hebrew and Jewish Studies, working on the vocabulary of the Septuagint, especially the expression of envy and jealousy in Hebrew and Greek. In 2019 he joined the SNSF-project Lege Josephum, devoted to the ancient Jewish priest, military commander, and historian Flavius Josephus, and his reception in medieval Latin Europe. Anthony’s project explores the annotations left by Josephus’s medieval Christian readers across hundreds of Latin manuscripts.

Anthony’s broader interests include interreligious encounters in the ancient and medieval world, the history of cultural relativism, the intimate relationship between scholarship and forgery, and the translation of emotions across languages and cultures. His forthcoming book – Jealousy and the Gods – looks at the jealousy and envy of gods and demons in ancient Greek and Hebrew literature, and the afterlife of these ideas in the Greek, Roman, Jewish, and Christian communities of later antiquity.

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