Sight and Blindness in Luke-Acts: The Use of Physical by Chad Hartsock

By Chad Hartsock

The traditional global frequently concept by way of physiognomics - the concept personality should be discerned by means of learning outward, actual good points. That actual descriptions hold ethical freight in characterization has been mostly ignored in sleek biblical scholarship, and this research brings that to the vanguard. particularly, this can be a research of 1 specific actual marker-blindness. after we examine Greco-Roman literature, one of those literary topos starts off to emerge, a collection of assumptions that historical audiences would routinely make whilst encountering blind characters. "Luke-Acts" uses this sort of topos in a fashion that turns into programmatic, serving as a type of interpretive key to Luke-Acts that's in general not noted in glossy scholarship.

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34 See especially Misener, “Loxus, Physician and Physiognomist,” 1 and Evans, Physiognomics in the Ancient World, 19. 35 See Evans, “Galen the Physician as Physiognomist,” 296–97 for a good discussion of the supposed racial characteristics and their basis is Galen’s exposition of the humors. 26 chapter two find numerous examples in any single play of racial types. This method is particularly clear in Lysistrata in the ways Aristophanes portrays some specific Greek sub-groups, particularly the Beotians, Corinthians, and Spartans throughout the play.

41–42, Demetrius is criticized as he is compared to actors, accused of pretending to appear royal when in fact he is rather despicable in character, especially with his refusal to properly dispense justice. According to Plutarch, the behavior of Demetrius ultimately subverts his royal appearance. 5: “And surely nothing so befits a king as the work of justice. . ” 61 For a more detailed exploration of Plutarch’s ambivalence toward the usefulness of physiognomics, see Tatum, “Regal Image,” 135–151.

The description, which is not given in Suetonius until a few paragraphs prior to the narration of the death of Nero, is unusual particularly because of its restraint: “Height: average; body: pustular and malodorous; hair: light blond; features: pretty, rather than handsome; eyes: blue and rather weak; neck: squat; belly: protuberant; legs: spindled” (Nero 51, translation Graves). Undoubtedly the description is a negative one. It shares many negative descriptors already mentioned, such as weak eyes and spindled legs, and certainly a “pustular” and offensively-smelling body an introduction to physiognomy 43 is quite negative as well.

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