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Edited by Ioannis Mylonopoulos

The polytheistic religious systems of ancient Greece and Rome reveal an imaginative attitude towards the construction of the divine. One of the most important instruments in this process was certainly the visualisation. Images of the gods transformed the divine world into a visually experienceable entity, comprehensible even without a theoretical or theological superstructure. For the illiterates, images were together with oral traditions and rituals the only possibility to approach the idea of the divine; for the intellectuals, images of the gods could be allegorically transcended symbols to reflect upon. Based on the art historical and textual evidence, this volume offers a fresh view on the historical, literary, and artistic significance of divine images as powerful visual media of religious and intellectual communication.

Magical Practice in the Latin West

Papers from the International Conference held at the University of Zaragoza, 30 Sept. – 1st Oct. 2005

Edited by Richard L. Gordon and Simón Marco

How different was the practice of magic in the Latin West from that of the eastern Mediterranean basin? Was it just derivative from Greek practice, or did it have its own originality? The recent discovery of important new curse-tablets in Mainz and in the Fountain of Anna Perenna at Rome has made the question newly topical. This volume contains the first commented editions in English of most of these new texts as well as major surveys of new prayers for justice. Other sections are devoted to the discourse of magic in the West, to the linguistics and aims of cursing, and to the major field of protective and eudaemonic magic up to and including the Visigothic slates and the Celtic loricae. The essays are by well-known scholars in the field as well as by established and younger Spanish scholars.

From Temple to Church

Destruction and Renewal of Local Cultic Topography in Late Antiquity

Stephen Emmel

Edited by Johannes Hahn and Ulrich Gotter

Destruction of temples and their transformation into churches are central symbols of late antique change in religious environment, socio-political system, and public perception. Contemporaries were aware of these events’ far-reaching symbolic significance and of their immediate impact as demonstrations of political power and religious conviction. Joined in any “temple-destruction” are the meaning of the monument, actions taken, and subsequent literary discourse. Paradigms of perception, specific interests, and forms of expression of quite various protagonists clashed. Archaeologists, historians, and historians of religion illuminate “temple-destruction” from different perspectives, analysing local configurations within larger contexts, both regional and imperial, in order to find an appropriate larger perspective on this phenomenon within the late antique movement “from temple to church”.

Mantikê

Studies in Ancient Divination

Edited by Sarah Iles Johnston and Peter T. Struck

This book thoroughly revisits divination as a central phenomenon in the lives of ancient Greeks, Romans, and Egyptians. It collects studies from many periods in Graeco-Roman history, from the Archaic period to the late Roman, and touches on many different areas of this rich topic, including treatments of dice oracles, sortition in both pagan and Christian contexts, the overlap between divination and other interpretive practices in antiquity, the fortunes of independent diviners, the activity of Delphi in ordering relations with the dead, the role of Egyptian cult centers in divinatory practices, and the surreptitious survival of recipes for divination by corpses. It also reflects a range of methodologies, drawn from anthropology, history of religions, intellectual history, literary studies, and archaeology, epigraphy, and paleography. It will be of particular interest to scholars and student of ancient Mediterranean religions.

Edited by Marvin Meyer and Paul Mirecki

This volume contains a series of provocative essays that explore expressions of magic and ritual power in the ancient world. The essays are authored by leading scholars in the fields of Egyptology, ancient Near Eastern studies, the Hebrew Bible, Judaica, classical Greek and Roman studies, early Christianity and patristics, and Coptology.
Throughout the book the essays examine the terms employed in descriptions of ancient magic. From this examination comes a clarification of magic as a polemical term of exclusion but also an understanding of the classical Egyptian and early Greek conceptions of magic as a more neutral category of inclusion.
This book should prove to be foundational for future scholarly studies of ancient magic and ritual power.

This publication has also been published in hardback (no longer available).

Collins

John J. Collins offers readers a model for the scholarly study of all aspects of Judaism, from the Persian period through Late Antiqity, including its influence on early Christianity. The essays are thematically grouped to cover the problem of the Canon in Second Temple Judaism and deal with apocalypticism, the Book of Daniel, the Sibylline Oracles, and the Dead Sea Scrolls. Also analyzed is the relationship between Wisdom and the Apocalypticism. This volume brings together over two decades of research by a leading authority in the field of Judaism.

This publication has also been published in hardback, please click here for details.

The Jews in Late Ancient Rome

Evidence of Cultural Interaction in the Roman Diaspora

L.V. Rutgers

It was long believed that Roman Jews lived in complete isolation. This book offers a refutation of this thesis. It focuses on the Jewish community in third and fourth-century Rome, and in particular on how this community related to the larger, non-Jewish world that surrounded it. Jewish archaeological remains and Jewish funerary inscriptions from Rome are examined from various angles, and compared to pagan and early Christian material and epigraphical remains. The author has shown great comprehensiveness, thoroughness, and accuracy in examining this epigraphic evidence. He also discusses the enigmatic legal treatise called the Collatio.
This volume proposes a new way in which the relationship between Jews and non-Jews in late antiquity can be studied. As such, it is an important and useful addition to the literature on Roman Jewry in the middle Empire.

Series:

Henk Versnel

This is the first of a two-volume collection of studies in inconsistencies in Greek and Roman religion. Their common aim is to argue for the historical relevance of various types of ambiguity and dissonance. The first volume focuses on the central paradoxes in ancient henotheism. The term 'henotheism' -- a modern formation after the stereotyped acclamation: #EIS O QEOS# ("one is the god"), common to early Christianity and contemporaneous paganism -- denotes the specific devotion to one particular god without denying the existence of, or even cultic attention to, other gods. After its prime in the twenties and thirties of this century the term fell into disuse. Nonetheless, the notion of henotheism represents one of the most remarkable and significant shifts in Graeco-Roman religion and hence deserves fresh reconsideration.

Series:

Edited by David Frankfurter

This volume deals with the origins and rise of Christian pilgrimage cults in late antique Egypt. Part One covers the major theoretical issues in the study of Coptic pilgrimage, such as sacred landscape and shrines' catchment areas, while Part Two examines native Egyptian and Egyptian Jewish pilgrimage practices. Part Three investigates six major shrines, from Philae's diverse non-Christian devotees to the great pilgrim center of Abu Mina and a Thecla shrine on its route. Part Four looks at such diverse pilgrims' rites as oracles, chant, and stational liturgy, while Part Five brings in Athanasius's and an anonymous hagiographer's perspectives on pilgrimage in Egypt. The volume includes illustrations of the Abu Mina site, pilgrims' ampules from the Thecla shrine, as well as several maps.

Hiera kala

Images of Animal Sacrifice in Archaic and Classical Greece

F. T. van Straten

Hierà kalá presents a collection, analysis and interpretation of the representations of animal sacrifice from ancient Greece. The Archaic and Classical material is dealt with comprehensively. Later evidence is adduced more selectively, for the sake of comparison.
All aspects of Greek sacrifice that are (or appear to be) represented in the iconographical material are treated in depth; interpretations are based on a combined study of the archaeological, the epigraphical and the literary data. Full catalogues of vase paintings and votive reliefs with depictions of sacrifice are included. A generous selection of these are illustrated in more than 200 figures.