Isis Pelagia: Images, Names and Cults of a Goddess of the Seas


In Isis Pelagia: Images, Names and Cults of a Goddess of the Seas, Laurent Bricault, one of the principal scholars of the cults of Isis, presents a new interpretation of the multiple sources that present Isis as a goddess of the seas. Bricault discusses a wealth of relatively unknown archaeological and textual data, drawing on a profound knowledge of their historical context.

After decades of scholarly study, Bricault offers an important contribution and a new phase in the debate on understanding the “diffusion” as well as the “reception” of the cults of Isis in the Graeco-Roman world. This book, the first English-language monograph by the leading French scholar in the field, underlines the importance of Isis Studies for broader debates in the study of ancient religion.

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Laurent Bricault>, Ph.D. (Paris-Sorbonne 1994), is Professor of Roman History at Université Toulouse Jean Jaurès and senior member of the Institut Universitaire de France. Well known in the domain of Isis studies, he is the author of the Atlas de la diffusion des cultes isiaques (2001, Académie des Inscriptions et Belles-Lettres) and has recently published Les cultes isiaques dans le monde gréco-romain (2013, Les Belles Lettres).
List of Illustrations, Tables and Map


1 The Origins of Isis, Goddess of the Seas
 1.1 The Masters of the Waves in Ancient Egypt
 1.2 Isis, Navigation, and the Aquatic Element during the Pharaonic Period
 1.3 Isis, the Phoenicians, and the Greeks
 1.4 Arsinoe, Aphrodite, Isis and the Marine Element

2 The Canonization of A New Prerogative

3 Representations of Isis, Goddess of the Seas
 3.1 The Isis-with-a-Sail Type
 3.2 The Problem of Sculpted Representations of the Isis-with-a-Sail Type
 3.3 Other Representations of Isis, Goddess of the Seas

4 The Names of Isis, Goddess of the Seas
 4.1 Isis Eὔπλοια
 4.2 Isis πελαγία
 4.3 Isis σώτειρα
 4.4 Isis Φαρία
 4.5 Isis κυβερνῆτις and ὁρμίστρια

5 A Cult for Isis, Goddess of the Seas
 5.1 The Cult Sites of Marine Isis
 5.2 Ritual Practices
 5.3 Festivals in Honor of Isis, Goddess of the Seas

6 Sarapis and the Sea
 6.1 Sarapis: Fulfilling the Need for a God
 6.2 A New Field of Action for Sarapis
 6.3 Isis and Sarapis, Figureheads and Names of Ships

7 Disappearance and Renaissance of Marine Isis and Sarapis
General Bibliography
General Index
All interested in ancient history, mainly of religions, as well as students concerned with the Graeco-Roman world.
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