Forging Antiquity

The website for the Australian Research Council Discovery Project: Forging Antiquity: Authenticity, forgery and fake papyri

Daniel Hanigan

Daniel is an M.Phil. candidate in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at The University of Sydney (Centre for Classical and Near Eastern Studies of Australia). He is currently working on the ARC funded Discovery Project ‘Forging Antiquity: Authenticity, Forgery, and Fake Papyri’ (ARC DP 120103738, 2017-2019, under A/Prof. M. Choat and Dr. R. Ast) in the Department of Ancient History at Macquarie University.

The aim of his work is to understand the way in which the role of language, authority, and historical authenticity in interfaith dialogue and religious debate has developed from antiquity to the present day. He explores this particularly through study of the influence of Greek and Roman theology, mythology, and philosophy on the development Early Christianity. His current research focuses on the intersection of language and religion, with a particular focus on the etymologies of the names of Greek divinities in the writings of Clement of Alexandria. This project evaluates the authenticity of Clement’s derivations in light of contemporary etymological theory and the long history of scholarly scepticism about the validity of ancient ‘Volksetymologie’.

He is working concurrently on a study of the evidence for Greek and Roman thought, belief, and practice concerning resurrection prior to the first century AD. This project proposes to offer a considered response to claims by contemporary Christian apologists that bodily return from the dead was absent as a category of thought in the Greek and Roman worlds prior to the earliest interpretations of the alleged resurrection of Jesus Christ. In doing so, it rethinks the authenticity of the claim that the Early Christian interpretation of and extrapolation upon the ‘empty tomb’ (whether historical reality or narrative motif) was demonstrably unprecedented and ultimately disconnected from earlier mythological and theological traditions.

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