The focus of this Ph.D. project is on spatial metaphors in ancient texts, in particular on the metaphorical use of “Two-Ways” in Early Christian Literature.


The basis of the metaphorical use of the “Two-Ways” is a subtype of the “Life-is-a-journey” Metaphor of which a preliminary definition has been established in the first analyses and continually verified throughout the research project. The analysed texts are used to understand better how the metaphor is arranged and used. These texts are also queried for what they are constituted of in particular communicative contexts.

First Results

The analyses have shown that the metaphorical use of the “Two-Ways” Metaphor are not always singular occurrences, but also connect and are sometimes subordinated to other metaphors – for example with two gates – or combined with other metaphors – including different source domains, and not only drawing from spatial domains. It is also notable that the features or attributes of the “Two-Ways” could be viewed in one text occurrence as positive, but in others text occurrences with the same features applied, as negative.

With regards to the pragmatics, these metaphors function particularly as didactic and task-oriented means and identify aspects.

With the help of Topoi’s resources it was possible to acquire deepening theoretical frames about metaphors in various reading groups, workshops and conferences. Also, a specialised Philo-Workshop held by Maren Niehoff (Jerusalem) in June 2016 aided in valuable cues for the enrichment of the research concerning Philo texts. Participating in the groups and conferences also offered occasions to present research results and outcomes.

This Ph.D. thesis is being written within the program “Ancient Languages and Texts” (ALT) of the Berlin Graduate School of Ancient Studies (BerGSAS).