New publication: "DDR im Plural. Ostdeutsche Vergangenheiten und ihre Gegenwart"


Under the title "DDR im Plural. Ostdeutsche Vergangenheiten und ihre Gegenwart" (East German pasts and their present), Sophie Lange (postdoctoral researcher at the History Department of the University of Erfurt), Christopher Banditt and Nadine Jenke have published a new book with the Berlin Metropol publishing house. It also includes a contribution by private lecturer Dr Kerstin Brückweh (Fellow at the Max-Weber-Kolleg at the University of Erfurt).

In the book, which was commissioned by the Federal Foundation for the Study of the Communist Dictatorship in Eastern Germany, 25 young academics show in vivid contributions how they approach the multi-layered nature of the GDR and its after-effects up to the present day in Germany as a whole with new research approaches. The texts deal with everyday life, cultural spaces, but also the political and security apparatus. The perspectives chosen range from the period of reconstruction to the years after the fall of the wall. The volume reflects the diversity of methods used in current research and invites further reflection on the GDR and East Germany.

Christopher Banditt, Nadine Jenke und Sophie Lange (Hrsg.)
DDR im Plural. Ostdeutsche Vergangenheiten und ihre Gegenwart
Berlin: Metropol Verlag, 2023
ISBN: 9783863316655
366 pages
24 EUR

New publication: "Luthers Aufruf zur Gründung von Schulen, an denen Alte Sprachen gelehrt werden (1524)"


In 1524, Martin Luther (1483–1546) wrote to the councillors of the German cities: "We need new schools in which the ancient languages are taught and which thus enable our own critical approach to the biblical text. Boys and girls should be well educated in general, since the church and especially the state need capable and educated young people. It is now the task of the public authorities to establish these schools and the associated libraries and to finance them in the long term. Luther's council pamphlet soon led in many places – as late as 1524 in Gotha, and later also in Erfurt – to the foundation of Protestant council schools, which still exist today as grammar schools.

Kai Brodersen now presents Luther's writing in a copy of the edition published in Erfurt in 1524, a transcription and a new translation, and makes it accessible with an introduction, explanations and an index. Even after 500 years, it is still true that we need schools where the ancient languages are taught.

Kai Brodersen
Luthers Aufruf zur Gründung von Schulen, an denen Alte Sprachen gelehrt werden (1524)
Speyer: KD-Verlag, 2023
ISBN: 978-3-939526-59-9
124 pages


New publication on Latin building inscriptions in the cityscape of Erfurt


"Felix Thuringia plaude", "happy Thuringia, applaud": This is written in Erfurt on the substructures (cavates) of the Domberg on an architectural inscription. Anyone walking through the historic center of Erfurt will come across such inscriptions again and again in the cityscape. The oldest of these were created in the 14th century, the most recent are less than 25 years old. Together, the Latin building inscriptions offer a diverse insight into the history of the city.

Prof. Dr. Kai Brodersen presents in his new book "Felix Thuringia plaude" about 50 inscriptions of Erfurt in picture, text and (often for the first time) in German translation. In this way, he opens up access to the Latin architectural inscriptions visible in the cityscape for all those interested in Erfurt and its history.

Kai Brodersen
Felix Thuringia plaude
Speyer: KD publishing house, 2023
ISBN: 978-3-939526-58-2
74 pages

New publication: Antigonos von Karystos – Sammlung sonderbarer Geschichten

There are many strange things in the world: strange animals and plants, springs and wells, rivers and seas. Even in ancient literature - from the epics of Homer to the "animal lore" of the philosopher Aristotle to the learned "paradoxes" of the great Kallimachos – there were always stories of the strange. Many of these texts are lost. What has survived, however, is a collection of strange stories written under the name of the learned Antigonos of Karystos (3rd century BC). Kai Brodersen, Professor of Ancient Culture, has now translated them into German for the first time and presented them in a bilingual edition. This provides a new insight into the literally wonderful world of antiquity.

Kai Brodersen
Antigonos von Karystos – Sammlung sonderbarer Geschichten
German / Greek (Opuscula 9)
Speyer: Kartoffeldruck publishing house, 2023
ISBN: 978-3-939526-57-5
106 pages


New publication: Questions and answers on ancient medicine


Why do round wounds heal slowly? Why do scars itch? How does acne develop? Why does one turn red with anger but pale with fear? Probably in the 2nd century AD, in the language of scientific medicine, in Greek, a few dozen questions about the human body and its healing were compiled and presented together with (often several) correct answers. The author was believed to be a learned physician (iatrosophist) named Cassius, perhaps the personal physician of the Roman emperor Tiberius.

The work was given great importance in the early modern period: It was printed in Latin along with advice on medicines against the plague. Later it fell into oblivion. Kai Brodersen has now translated the small work into German for the first time and made it accessible in a Greek-German edition. Thus Cassius Iatrosophista offers us an original insight into the understanding of health and disease in antiquity.

Kai Brodersen
Cassius Iatrosophista: Fragen und Antworten zur Medizin (Opuscula 7)
Speyer: KDV, 2023
ISBN: 978-3-939526-55-1
98 pages

New publication: "Religion und Gender"


The transcript publishing house Bielefeld has published a new publication entitled "Religion und Gender", which deals with concepts, experiences and media on this topic. The book is based on a lecture series of the Interdisciplinary Forum on Religion (IFR) at the University of Erfurt in the winter semester 2018/19, organized as part of the Studium Fundamentale. The editors are Silke Martin, Isabella Schwaderer and Katharina Waldner.

In public and media debates, the link between religion and gender plays a prominent and problematic role. Religious experiences and practices cannot be adequately understood without attention to the diversity of the subjects involved and acting. Yet, gender-sensitive religious studies is still not a given. Current and historical case studies on the relationship between religion and diversity take a look at various religions such as Islam as well as Western and Orthodox Christianity, and also cover a variety of media such as narratives, films, series, and reality TV.

The book is available in print and as an open access version.

Silke Martin, Isabella Schwaderer und Katharina Waldner (eds.)
Religion und Gender
Konzepte - Erfahrungen - Medien (Concepts - Experiences - Media)
transcript publishing house, Bielefeld, 2023
ISBN: 978-3-8376-5773-9
223 pages
35 EUR
open access (german only):

New publication: Wind, weather and climate of antiquity - at first hand


Theophrastos of Eresos (c. 371 - c. 287 B.C.), pupil and successor of Aristotle, emerged as a philosopher and naturalist. Two works that have come down to us under his name investigate wind and weather and are now available for the first time in German translation: The writing on the winds deals with the causes, peculiarities and effects of the winds on nature and man, the writing on weather signs discusses the possibilities of weather forecasting on the basis of signals that can be observed in nature. The effects of the climate on man - and of man on the climate - are always the subject of these considerations.

Kai Brodersen now presents both works and the most important parallel texts in two languages and with an introduction. Thus, the volume enables all those interested in antiquity and its natural history to understand at first hand the ancient thinking about wind, weather and climate.

Kai Brodersen
Theophrastos, Wind und Wetter.
bilingual edition
Tusculum collection
Berlin: De Gruyter, 2023
ISBN: 978-3-11-074403-3
240 pages
39.95 EUR

Publication about cinema in the GDR

In the past years, the academically accompanied participatory project "Cinema in the GDR - Reception History from 'Below'" examined East German cinema history for the first time from the perspective of the GDR cinema-goer. At the end of the project, Marcus Plaul, Anna-Rosa Haumann and Kathleen Kröger have now published an anthology with Nomos-Verlag.

Cinema as a place of encounter and public communication offers people moments of relaxation, distraction and entertainment. However, the phenomenon of cinema is not only explained by the perception of moving images and dream worlds to escape from everyday life, but must be seen in the context of multilayered contexts: The architecture of the cinema building and the ambience in the auditorium play just as much a role in the cinematic experience as the social component of collective film viewing, which determines whether the cinematic event is anchored in the memory of the visitors as a cinematic experience. "The cinema thus becomes a social and cultural space of experience, which, via the personal memories of the individual, becomes fixed in the social memory of entire generations," emphasize Marcus Plaul, Anna-Rosa Haumann and Kathleen Kröger.

Although the stories and experiences of the people are closely linked to this, the history of GDR cinema after reunification has been written primarily as a history of film politics and film production, without adequately taking into account the perspective of the audience. This is where the now published anthology "Kino in der DDR – Perspektiven auf ein alltagsgeschichtliches Phänomen" (Cinema in the GDR – Perspectives on an Everyday Historical Phenomenon) comes in. It deals with the significance of cinema for the people in the GDR and is dedicated to three thematic approaches: performance formats and venues, cinematic offerings in the GDR and how audiences perceived them, and the memories of film fans and former employees of the cinema and film industry.

Marcus Plaul, Anna-Rosa Haumann und Kathleen Kröger (Hrsg.)
Kino in der DDR. Perspektiven auf ein alltagsgeschichtliches Phänomen
Film Studies Series (vol. 81)
Baden-Baden: Nomos, 2022
ISBN: 978-3-8487-7268-1
320 pages
69 EUR

New publication about messages in bottles

With „Flaschenpost. Ferne Botschaften, frühe Vermessungen und ein legendäres Experiment“ (Message in a Bottle. Faraway Messages, Early Surveys and a Legendary Experiment) a new book dedicated to the unravelling of the oceans through posts in bottles has been published by mareverlag. The author is Wolfgang Struck.

In the middle of the 19th century, the geophysicist and polar researcher Georg Neumayer devoted himself to maritime current research. His instrument: the message in a bottle. He wanted to use bottle drifting to understand the currents in the seas and oceans and thus contribute to unravelling the seas. In a large-scale experiment, he asked ship captains to release bottles filled with a form on the high seas. The finder was then asked to fill out this form and return it to the Hamburg Naval Observatory with data on the place where it was found. Neumayer was able to collect more than 600 responses and document them in albums. In his book „Flaschenpost. Ferne Botschaften, frühe Vermessungen und ein legendäres Experiment“, Prof. Dr. Wolfgang Struck takes a closer look at this collection. He reports on the often mysterious routes of the bottles, but also on the captains and passengers who abandoned them, as well as on fishermen, beachcombers and harbour officials who found them. The volume thus provides an exciting view of the history of science and culture on the message in a bottle as a means of communication.

Wolfgang Struck
Flaschenpost. Ferne Botschaften, frühe Vermessungen und ein legendäres Experiment
Hamburg: mareverlag, 2022
ISBN: 978-3-86648-673-7
224 pages
36 EUR

About a boat trip around the Black Sea


Kai Brodersen has published a bilingual edition of an ancient travelogue around the Black Sea.

The "Snake Island" in the Black Sea is present in the news today, but was already famous in antiquity: the Homeric hero Achilles and his lover Patroclus were worshipped here. Lucius Flavius Arrianos wrote down this and much more information from the mythology and history of the Black Sea region for the Roman Emperor Hadrian soon after 130 AD. In a combination of friendly private letter, military and diplomatic report and learned discourse, the author describes a navigation around the Black Sea, i.e. a periplus of the Pontos Euxeinos.

Several centuries later, this writing - still under the name of Arrianos - was updated and expanded. The new edition by Kai Brodersen offers both works in German translation for the first time and presents them in a bilingual edition to all those interested in the ancient Black Sea area.

Kai Brodersen
Periplus Ponti Euxini 
Arrianos / Anonymus
(bilingual edition: German, Ancient Greek)
Speyer: KDV, 2022
ISBN: 3939526517
EAN: 9783939526513
136 pages


An Ancient Parody of Knowledge Literature

Where did the river Ganges get its name? The son of Indo, Ganges, had unknowingly slept with his mother; after the discovery, he threw himself into the river, which was then named after him. And the Euphrates? Euphrates had caught someone in his wife's bed and killed him; when he discovered that he had thus killed his own child, he threw himself into the river, which was then ... right! But also: on the Nile there is a stone that prevents dogs from barking, and in Scythia there is a plant that protects children from an evil stepmother.

These and many other fairy-tale myths and strange natural wonders, many of which are otherwise unattested, are collected in the ancient Greek work that has come down to us under the name of the learned Plutarchus of Chaironeia and is now made available for the first time in a German translation. But are his accounts historically credible? No, the work proves to be a parody of ancient knowledge literature on geography, natural history and, last but not least, mythology, both in content and style. Kai Brodersen has translated the work into German for the first time and presents it in a bilingual edition.

Kai Brodersen
Plutarch, De fluviis / Über die Benennung von Flüssen und Bergen.
(bilingual edition)
Speyer: KDV 2022
ISBN: 978-3-939526-50-6
96 pages

Fascinating insight into the everyday world of Byzantium


At Marix, Kai Brodersen has just published a bilingual edition of "Symeon Seth. The nuts and bolts of eating and drinking" (Symeon Seth. Das A und O vom Essen und Trinken).

What food and luxury foods were known in Byzantium a millennium ago, and what new ones had arrived from Arabia and India? And what did people actually eat and drink? What effect was attributed to peas, crabs, carrots, radishes and saffron (correct - they were all considered aphrodisiacs), but what effect was attributed to cabbage, parsley and goat meat (correct again - they were all said to be anti-drunkenness)? For a Byzantine emperor, Symeon Seth wrote a compilation of foods and stimulants, which is sorted alphabetically, from alpha to omega.

The work offers a fascinating insight into the everyday world in Byzantium: it is about bread and butter, water and wine, vinegar and oil, milk and honey, salt and pepper, apples and pears, fish and meat, but also about lobster and caviar and about musk and hashish. The author introduces each food and explains what effects it has on the body. The aim of the work is to help his readers stay in good health through proper nutrition. In a bilingual edition, Kai Brodersen now makes the text accessible to a contemporary readership for the first time.

Kai Brodersen
Symeon Seth. Das A und O vom Essen und Trinken
(bilingual edition)
Marix publishing house, 2022
ISBN: 978-3-7374-1194-3
208 pages
15 EUR


New publication: "Jenseits des Terrazentrismus"

A new book by Iris Schröder, Felix Schürmann and Wolfgang Struck on cartographies of the oceans and the formation of the global world was published by Wallstein in June 2022 under the title "Jenseits des Terrazentrismus" (beyond terracentris).

On the seas, the world formed itself into a unity. Among the instruments and media that made the condensation of transoceanic movements possible and perceptible from the beginning of the 19th century, maps were of decisive importance. Nautical charts, which were dedicated to the precision standards of a measuring and standardising geography, allowed European seafarers to reach coasts that previously could only be approached at hardly justifiable risk. At the same time, maps that showed the oceans in atlases, in journals or, for example, on the walls of offices and placed them in ever new relations to the continental mainland, made it possible to form a conception of the world as a space of possibility connected by the oceans.

"Jenseits des Terrazentrismus" invites us to consider the formation of the global world from water – and from its medialisation in maps. In contributions from history, literature and media studies, the book stimulates a maritime-reflected globalisation research that understands the events on and the engagement with the oceans as constitutive for the formation of globality.

Iris Schröder, Felix Schürmann und Wolfgang Struck (Hrsg.)
Jenseits des Terrazentrismus
Kartographien der Meere und die Herausbildung der globalen Welt, 2022
Wallstein publishing house, 2022
ISBN: 3835351419
39.90 EUR

New publication: complete works of Hippocrates

A modernised translation of all the works of the ancient physician Hippocrates has just been published. The three-volume work was edited by Kai Brodersen.

Hippocrates is certainly the most famous physician of antiquity, if not the most famous physician of all. Instead of magical practices, the "father of medicine" relied on reason-based observation and experience and thus founded medicine as a science. The Hippocratic Oath is still considered exemplary for medical ethics today. An extensive oeuvre has been handed down under Hippocrates' name, the so-called Corpus Hippocraticum. The approx. 70 books are aimed at doctors as well as lay people, explain the causes of illnesses, serve as a guide to diagnosis and prognosis, and provide concise instructions for therapy and recommendations for treatment.

All Hippocratic writings are now available again in the German translation by Richard Kapferer and others. The medical historian Florian Steger, professor at the University of Ulm, has contributed an introduction. Kai Brodersen, Professor of Ancient Culture at the University of Erfurt, has reviewed, carefully modernised and edited the translation.

Kai Brodersen (Ed.)
Hippokrates: Sämtliche Werke
Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft, 2022
ISBN: 978-3-534-27394-2
1776 pagesin 3 volumes, cloth with ribbon in slipcase
250 EUR


New publication on colonialism as a transnational endeavour

How did Western states act as colonial powers and what influence does this still have on colonial structures today? Dr. Florian Wagner addresses this question in his new book "Colonial Internationalism and the Governmentality of Empire, 1893-1982", published by Cambridge University Press.

In 1893, a group of colonial officials from thirteen countries abandoned their imperial rivalry and established the International Colonial Institute (ICI), which became the world's most important colonial think tank of the twentieth century. Through the lens of the ICI, Florian Wagner argues that this international cooperation reshaped colonialism as a transimperial and governmental policy.

The book demonstrates that the ICI's strategy of using indigenous institutions and customary laws to encourage colonial development served to maintain colonial rule even beyond the official end of empires. By selectively choosing loyalists among the colonized to participate in the ICI, it increased their autonomy while equally delegitimizing more radical claims for independence. The publication presents a detailed study of the ICI's creation, the transcolonial activities of its prominent members, its interactions with the League of Nations and fascist governments, and its role in laying the groundwork for the structural and discursive dependence of the Global South after 1945. In his work Florian Wagner combines transnational and colonial history to provide the first account of the International Colonial Institute. He demonstrates the long continuity of colonialism by connecting internationalism of the 1890s with international development policies of the post-1945 era and offers readers insight into the underlying racism and colonialism that accompanied most Western activities in the Global South.

Florian Wagner
Colonial Internationalism and the Governmentality of Empire, 1893-1982
Cambridge University Press, February 2022
ISBN: 9781316512838
324 pages
90 £

New publication: "Gargilius. Gesundheit aus dem Garten"


A new publication by Kai Brodersen has just appeared in Reclams Universalbibliothek (Reclam's Universal Library): "Gargilius: Gesundheit aus dem Garten". Gargilius collected ancient knowledge about health from the garden in Roman antiquity. His works take us into a world in which some illnesses from head to toe, more precisely: from hair loss to corns, were treated with remedies from fruits and vegetables. Gargilius shows how herbs and vegetables from basil to onions and fruits from apples to lemons, properly applied, promise to alleviate or cure ailments. It is therefore no wonder that reading his writings was already recommended in antiquity: They pass on historical advice on how to eat right and keep healthy.

Kai Brodersen has now made all of Gargilius' surviving works available in two languages for the first time in a Reclam edition. An interview with the medical theorist Professor Robert Jütte also shows what ancient knowledge about health from the garden can also be important for people today.

Kai Brodersen
Gargilius, Gesundheit aus dem Garten.
Reclams Universalbibliothek 14251, Stuttgart 2022
ISBN: 978-3-15-014251-6
220 pages

Fundamentals of Mathematics in Late Antiquity and the Middle Ages


A new publication has appeared at the Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft (wbg): Boethius' "Arithemetics" as a bilingual edition, introduced, edited and translated by Kai Brodersen.

Boëthius, probably the most important scholar of late antiquity, created a standard mathematical work around 500 AD with his "Arithmetics". The work had an enormous influence on the medieval and early modern educational canon. It was to remain the authoritative introduction to number theory for a millennium. Kai Brodersen has now presented Boethius' "Arithmetic" for the first time in a bilingual German translation. With this and 16 colour illustrations from the codex with which the grandson of Emperor Charles the Great learned Mathematics, the ancient world of numbers becomes accessible to today's readers for the first time.

Kai Brodersen
Boethius, Arithemetik
(bilingual edition, introduced, edited and translated by Kai Brodersen)
Darmstadt: wbg 2022
ISBN: 978-3-534-27426-0
336 pages (with 16 colour illustrations)
98 EUR (78.40 EUR für wbg-members)

New publication: Antike global

Antike global

"Antike global", the German version of Stanley M. Burstein's book, has now been published by the "Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft" (WBG).

A new history of the ancient world between 1000 BC and 300 AD breaks away from the Eurocentric perspective. In a new book, the American ancient historian Stanley Burstein broadens the view to an antiquity from the Atlantic to the Pacific. After a phase of regionalisation, a few great empires emerged in temperate Afro-Eurasia - Rome, Sassanid Persia, the Jin Empire in China - that ruled over half the world's population. These empires were not isolated from each other. An extensive network of trade routes linked them to Southeast and Central Asia and sub-Saharan Africa, making this period the world's first global era. The new book-based religions - Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Christianity, Manichaeism - also spread along these routes, setting the course for the next millennium.

With this cleverly composed, compact volume, Kai Brodersen, Professor of Ancient Culture at the University of Erfurt, has now presented the first global history of Afro-Eurasia in Antiquity in German translation and editing.

Stanley M. Burstein / German edition by Kai Brodersen
Antike global. Die Welt von 1000 v. Chr. bis 300 n. Chr.
Darmstadt: Wissenschaftliche Buchgesellschaft/Theiss 2022
ISBN: 978-3-8062-4448-9
208 pages
22 EUR (17.60 EUR for WBG-members) 

New publication on Greifswald philology professor Konrat Ziegler


"Kann ein gebildeter Mensch Politiker sein?" ("Can an educated person be a politician?") This question is raised by the eponymous publication by Kai Brodersen, Professor of Ancient Culture at the University of Erfurt, which has just been published by Kartoffeldruckverlag.

Konrat Ziegler (1884-1974) was Professor of Classical Philology at the University of Greifswald from 1923, Dean of the Faculty of Philosophy in 1926/1927 and Rector of the University in 1928/1929. Equally distinguished in research, especially on Cicero and Plutarch, in teaching on all aspects of classical studies and in academic service as an editor of encyclopaedias and collected works, Ziegler was also a homo politicus. A convinced democrat, he increasingly came into conflict with nationalist circles and was dismissed by the National Socialists in 1933. Because of his courageous commitment to Jewish fellow citizens, Ziegler was later honoured in Yad Vashem as a "Righteous Among the Nations". Even after the Second World War, Ziegler was active in both academia and politics.

The book, edited by Kai Brodersen, Susanne Froehlich and Hannelore Kohl, documents a celebratory colloquium in Greifswald that took place on the occasion of the unveiling of a commemorative plaque at Konrat Ziegler's home. In four contributions, the publication sheds light on Ziegler's significance and his work as a politician.

Kai Brodersen, Susanne Froehlich und Hannelore Kohl (eds.)
Kann ein gebildeter Mensch Politiker sein?
Konrat Ziegler an der Universität Greifswald 1923-1933.
Speyer: KDV, 2022
ISBN: 9783939526490
52 pages
3.50 EUR 


New publication on digitally networked communication


The conference volume "Bildung, Wissen und Kompetenz(-en) in digitalen Medien" (Education, Knowledge and Competence(s) in Digital Media), the third title of Digital Communication Research 2021, has been published.

The volume, edited by Markus Seifert and Sven Jöckel from the University of Erfurt, emerged from the annual conference of the Digital Communication section of the DGPuK in November 2018, which was organised by the two colleagues in Erfurt. The conference was titled with the question now also recorded in the subtitle of the volume: "What can, want and should we know about digitally networked communication?"

The eleven contributions gathered in this volume span a larger framework and show in which places and in which contexts we can and also must all learn and expand knowledge with digital communication offerings. They take up questions of learning and knowledge acquisition via digitally networked communication and include newer concepts of media competence. The perspective of both teachers and learners is taken and, on the basis of empirical studies, it is shown how digital (learning) offers are perceived and used or appropriated.

The volume can be downloaded here free of charge. The print version can be ordered from Böhland & Schremmer Verlag Berlin.

Markus Seifert und Sven Jöckel (Hrsg.)
Bildung, Wissen und Kompetenz(-en) in digitalen Medien Perspectives.
Was können, wollen und sollen wir über digital vernetzte Kommunikation wissen?
(series: Digital Communication Research, No. 8)
Böhland & Schremmer Publishing House Berlin, 2021
ISBN: 978-3-945681-08-4
334 pages
36 EUR 

The Pan-Orthodox Council of 2016 – A New Era for the Orthodox Church? Interdisciplinary Perspectives.


A new publication by Vasilios N. Makrides and Sebastian Rimestad on the Pan-Orthodox Council 2016 has been published by Peter Lang publishing house.

In 2016, a meeting of the 14 autocephalous (independent) churches of the Orthodox Church family took place on the island of Crete - the first official meeting of the entire Orthodoxy since the seventh ecumenical council of 787. Unfortunately, four of the churches decided at the last minute not to participate in the so-called Pan-Orthodox Council, including the largest among them, the Russian Orthodox Church. The remaining church representatives met anyway and tried to give the meeting historical significance.  In the volume just published, 14 authors analyse the Pan-Orthodox Council to contextualise its significance for the contemporary Orthodox Church and its relations with the religious and secular environment.

The book by Vasilios N. Makrides, Professor of Cultural History of Orthodox Christianity at the University of Erfurt, and PD Dr Sebastian Rimestad (Leipzig) has been published as the 19th volume in the series "Erfurt Studies on the Cultural History of Orthodox Christianity".

Vasilios N. Makrides und Sebastian Rimestad (eds.)
The Pan-Orthodox Council of 2016 – A New Era for the Orthodox Church? Interdisciplinary Perspectives.
(series: „Erfurter Studien zur Kulturgeschichte des orthodoxen Christentums“, No. 19)
Berlin: Peter Lang, 2021
ISBN: 978-3-634-71526-0
273 pages
59.95 EUR 

New publication on reading in the Anthropocene


Reading is much more than just a leisure activity. Reading means interpreting texts and interpreting the world as well as changing this world - this is how the volume "Diffractive Reading", now edited by Professor Kai Merten, works it out for the current age of the Anthropocene.

'Diffractive reading' refers to a method of interpretation and analysis that takes this fact into account. In this context, not only books, films and other media are 'read', but also Lake Baikal or the human genome. Diffractive Reading is equally applicable to cultural and natural scientific phenomena and theorises how reading can change the world, for the good or the problematic: Reading enables us to reflect on and critique human agency in society, culture and extra-human nature. However, 'reading' the human genome automatically also means being able to modify it and thus massively influence nature.

In addition to a theoretical foundation of diffractive reading, the volume includes a whole series of applications of the method to novels (such as those by J. R. R. Tolkien or Siri Hustvedt), to films, the music of U2 or the user portal Stack Overflow. Other contributions, which focus on the diffractive reading of nature, subject this human influence to critical scrutiny and at the same time offer examples of a more careful reading of the human body and the environment.

The volume combines humanities and natural science interests and methods in an intensive way and is at the same time an important literary contribution to the Anthropocene as a phenomenon and object of discussion. It emerged from workshops and an international call for articles by the Erfurt Network on New Materialism (ENNM), which is headed by Kai Merten, Professor of Modern English Literature at the University of Erfurt. The book is published by Rowman & Littlefield, a London-based publishing house relevant to current academic discussions. Overall, the volume places Erfurt literary studies in a global discussion context that is strongly perceived internationally.

Kai Merten
Diffractive Reading New Materialism, Theory, Critique
(series: New Critical Humanities)
Rowman & Littlefield Publishers / Rowman & Littlefield International
ISBN (print): 978-1-78661-396-7
ISBN (e-book): 978-1-78661-397-4
352 pages
$ 125 (print)
$ 45 (e-book)

New publication "Periplus Maris Erythraei"


With his current publication, Kai Brodersen, Professor of Ancient Culture at the University of Erfurt, presents a travel description of the ancient sea route to India.

Probably from the 1st century AD, a small Greek work has come down to us, known by its Latinised title "Periplus Maris Erythraei". It deals with the ancient sea route from Egypt to India through the Erythraean Sea, which borders East Africa, the Arabian Peninsula, Iran and the West Indies. The anonymous author describes the coasts and trading places of that sea and their hinterland, names the peculiarities of the local peoples and indicates which luxury goods were traded, from wine from Italy to spices from India and silk from China.

Prof. Dr. Kai Brodersen has now presented the work in a bilingual edition. This makes accessible an important historical source for long-distance trade in the Roman Empire and thus for ancient "globalisation".

Kai Brodersen
Periplus Maris Erythraei
(zweisprachige Ausgabe)
Speyer: KDV 2021
ISBN: 9783939526476
120 pages

New Publication: Symeon Seth, Fabelbuch.

The new publication by Kai Brodersen is about ancient animal fables for a prosperous coexistence.

The ancient Greek animal fables of Aesop are familiar to many; indeed, one often equates "fable" and "Aesop". Yet there is a rich tradition of fables in the ancient Orient, which came to the Arab world and then also interested the Greek Mediterranean world. The learned Symeon Seth worked at the Byzantine court in the 11th century. In addition to writings on natural history, astronomy and medicine, he produced two influential works: an "A and O of Eating and Drinking" and a Greek version of the old Indian collection of fables "Kalila wa-Dimna", which came to Byzantium via Arabia. In dialogues and fables, a king is told what is best for a prosperous coexistence.

The first bilingual edition of Symeon Seth's book of fables has now been published by Kai Brodersen, Professor of Ancient Culture at the University of Erfurt. It makes it possible to read, in original text and translation, a work that had an enormous influence on modern concepts of the good social life.

Kai Brodersen
Symeon Seth, Fabelbuch.
bilingual edition
Speyer: KDV 2021
ISBN: 9783939526469
172 pages


New publication: "Nikomachos von Gerasa: Einführung in die Arithmetik."

Under the title "Nicomachus von Gerasa: Einführung in die Arithmetik." a new book by Kai Brodersen, Professor of Ancient Culture, has been published by De Gruyter.

In the early 2nd century AD, Nicomachus of Gerasa wrote a work on arithmetic in which he skilfully presented and illustrated the number theory that goes back to Pythagoras and his school. It deals with prime numbers including the "sieve of Eratosthenes" as well as numbers of all other kinds, the relation of numbers, but also square and cubic numbers and mean values. Nicomachus clearly presents ancient number theory and thus became a key figure for later mathematics. The work was highly influential: the scholars Apuleius (2nd century) and Boethius (5th/6th century) translated it into Latin, several commentaries from late antiquity have survived, and the Greek philosopher Proclus (5th century) even saw himself as the reincarnation of Nicomachus. Indeed, as late as the 14th century, Nicomachus appears alongside Socrates and Cicero as one of the most important thinkers of antiquity on the Schöner Brunnen in Nuremberg.

Kai Brodersen has now translated the work into German for the first time and presented it in a bilingual edition with an introduction and explanations. The book thus provides new access to one of the most powerful representations of ancient mathematics.

Kai Brodersen
Nikomachos von Gerasa: Einführung in die Arithmetik.
bilingual edition (Tusculum Collection)
Berlin: De Gruyter, 2021
ISBN: 978-3-11-073526-0
240 pages
39.95 EUR

New publication: "Soziale Unterstützung in Online-Kommunikationsmodi"


Under the title "Soziale Unterstützung in Online-Kommunikationsmodi. Die Perspektive der prosozial Handelnden" ("Social support in online communication modes. The Perspective of Prosocial Actors"), a new publication by Paula Stehr, research associate at the Professorship for Communication Science with a focus on social communication, was published by Halem Verlag.

Social interactions and relationships play a major role in our health. A central construct here is the so-called "social support". The perspective of those who provide support has received little attention in research so far. With reference to the state of knowledge on prosocial action, Paula Stehr's new book aims to add to the perspective of the actors.

Online modes offer specific conditions for the exchange of social support: in anonymous online forums, people exchange information on stigmatising diseases, socially anxious people benefit from greater control over self-expression in channel-reduced modes, and people with mobility impairments can participate in communities in a media-mediated, location-independent and self-determined way. The book deals on the one hand with the framework conditions of online modes for the exchange of social support and on the other hand with the consequences for psychological and subjective well-being.

The empirical part is based on a so-called "sequential mixed-method design" in which three different studies build on each other: a partially standardised diary study on support services in different communication modes, guideline interviews with prosocially acting actors on social networking sites and a final standardised survey of forum users. The results show that online modes broaden people's prosocial interaction possibilities and offer specific opportunities for social support exchange. This exchange can have a positive influence on well-being, which can be attributed not only to receiving but also to actively providing support.

Paula Stehr
Soziale Unterstützung in Online-Kommunikationsmodi
Die Perspektive der prosozial Handelnden
Halem Verlag, 2021
ISBN 978-3-86962-592-8
336 pages
36 EUR

New publication: "Großes Kino. Monumentale DDR-Filmplakate der 1960er-Jahre"

Großes Kino

Under the title "Großes Kino. Monumentale DDR-Filmplakate der 1960er-Jahre", a new book by Patrick Rössler, Professorof Communication Studies with a focus on Empirical Communication Research/Methods, has been published by Bertz und Fischer.

Documents on film in the GDR are important materials for researching recent German cultural history. The film poster enjoys special esteem, as it was almost without exception commissioned work by renowned graphic designers who conceived an independent visual solution for each film. Largely unknown today, however, is a special type of poster that was used very effectively in cinema advertising: the so-called 'large format' (Großfläche) in triple A0, which had to be assembled from three individual parts on the billboard. These panoramas, which were a good metre high and almost two and a half metres wide, developed an outstanding visual power - but they have hardly survived in the archives today: Only a small number of the elaborate, oversized prints on stronger paper were produced and these were primarily processed by pasting them on, so that they were lost after use and simply pasted over.

To mark the 75th anniversary of DEFA's founding, this volume presents for the first time more than 150 of these rare large-format posters, produced in the first half of the 1960s. Not only because of their sheer size do these products of contemporary commercial art impress to this day: since the advertising message had to be laid out in landscape format, delightful variations of familiar motifs can be discovered here. For example, designers liked to use the extra space to highlight film titles and slogans, while elements of the original poster design were rearranged, placed and graphically integrated.
The publication documents a poster collection of the Interdisciplinary Research Unit for Historical Media (IFhM) at the University of Erfurt.

Patrick Rössler
Großes Kino. Monumentale DDR-Filmplakate der 1960er-Jahre
Verlag Bertz und Fischer, 2021
ISBN 978-3-86505-420-3
184 pages
29 EUR

New publication: Lycosthenes - Zeichen und Wunder


The world is an uncertain place: Again and again we are threatened by epidemics, catastrophes and wars that we do not foresee, but which completely disrupt our lives. Since ancient times, people have therefore tried to explore the future by means of signs and wonders. The humanist Lycosthenes wanted to make this knowledge useful for modern times: For anyone who understands the omens that existed in history can change his or her behaviour and perhaps still avert disaster.

Lycosthenes' book was a "bestseller" after its publication in 1552. Kai Brodersen, Professor of Ancient Culture at the University of Erfurt, now presents it in a new translation in two languages for the first time. Included are the 56 woodcuts of the first edition, which vividly illustrate how the signs and wonders were imagined and may still be imagined today. Perhaps Lycosthenes was right - and we can learn from history?

Kai Brodersen
Lycosthenes: Zeichen und Wunder
Wiesbaden: Verlagshaus Römerweg, 2021
ISBN: 978-3-7374-1169-1
224 pages
15 EUR

New guidebook: "Facts Check Vaccination"


A new guidebook on vaccination will be published by Gräfe und Unzer on 2 March. In it, authors Nicola Kuhrt, Jan Oude-Aost and Cornelia Betsch explore the pros and cons of vaccination.

Opinions are often divided when it comes to vaccination - many people follow their doctor's recommendations, others think long and hard, search for information until their heads start spinning, and no longer know what and whom to believe. The new guidebook "Facts-Check Vaccination" provides compact answers to the most important practical questions and clarifies widespread myths and misinformation according to the current state of science. For those who want it to be short, practical and understandable, this book provides a valuable basis for decision-making. This way, everyone can make the best decision for their child or themselves.

Nicola Kuhrt, Jan Oude-Aost und Cornelia Betsch
Fakten-Check Impfen: Pro & Contra auf den Grund gegangen
(Reihe: GU Reader Körper, Geist & Seele)
Gräfe und Unzer Verlag, 2021
ISBN-13: 978-3833877728
160 pages
14.99 EUR

The Protestant Church between co-determination and self-determination


A new publication by René Smolarski, research assistant at the Department of History at the University of Erfurt, has been published by Mohr Siebeck, deals with the ambivalence of the Protestant Church in questions of employee participation from the post-war period until the adoption of the co-determination law of 1976.

Since the end of the war, the development of the right of co-determination in the Federal Republic of Germany has repeatedly been marked by strong conflicts. Statements on the debate on co-determination were also repeatedly made by the Protestant side during the period under review, particularly in the run-up to the various legislative initiatives. This took place both through official statements and from various Protestant working groups and numerous individuals. The relationship between Protestantism and the co-determination debate is of particular significance, since the church was not only indirectly affected by the co-determination issue as a social-ethical authority, but also directly affected by the related state regulations as one of the largest employers in the country. For this reason, René Smolarski, who is currently working on the project "Protestantism in the Ethical Debates of the Federal Republic of Germany 1949-1989" at the University of Erfurt, uses selected Protestant statements to demonstrate the ambivalence of the church's position on this question.

René Smolarski

Die Evangelische Kirche zwischen Mitbestimmung und Selbstbestimmung. Zur Ambivalenz der Evangelischen Kirche in Fragen der Arbeitnehmermitbestimmung von der Nachkriegszeit bis zur Verabschiedung des Mitbestimmungsgesetzes von 1976
(Reihe: Religion in der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 8)
Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2020
ISBN 978-3-16-159887-6
481 pages
99 EUR