Athena Itonia: Geography and Meaning of an Ancient Greek War GoddessGerald V. Lalonde offers the first comprehensive history of the martial cult of Athena Itonia, from its origins in Greek prehistory to its demise in the Roman imperial age. The Itonian goddess appears first among the Thessalians and eventually as the patron deity of their famed cavalry. Archaic poets attest to "Athena, warrior goddess" and her festival games at the Itoneion near Boiotian Koroneia. The cult also came south to Athens, probably with the mounted Thessalian allies of Peisistratos. Hellenistic decrees from Amorgos tell of elaborate festival sacrifices to Athena Itonia, likely supplications for protection of the islanders and their maritime trade when piracy plagued the Cyclades after collapse of the Greek naval forces that policed the Aegean Sea. This will be an indispensable volume for all interested in the social, political, and military uses of ancient Greek religious cult and the geography, chronology, and circumstances of its propagation among Greek
poleis and federations.
Religion in Ephesos Reconsidered provides a detailed overview of the current state of research on the most important Ephesian projects offering evidence for religious activity during the Roman period. Ranging from huge temple complexes to hand-held figurines, this book surveys a broad scope of materials. Careful reading of texts and inscriptions is combined with cutting-edge archaeological and architectural analysis to illustrate how the ancient people of Ephesos worshipped both the traditional deities and the new gods that came into their purview. Overall, the volume questions traditional understandings of material culture in Ephesos, and demonstrates that the views of the city and its inhabitants on religion were more complex and diverse than has been previously assumed.
Individuals and Materials in the Greco-Roman Cults of Isis Valentino Gasparini and Richard Veymiers present a collection of reflections on the individuals and groups which animated one of Antiquity’s most dynamic, significant and popular religious phenomena: the reception of the cults of Isis and other Egyptian gods throughout the Hellenistic and Roman worlds. These communities, whose members seem to share the same religious identity, for a long time have been studied in a monolithic way through the prism of the Cumontian category of the “Oriental religions”. The 26 contributions of this book, divided into three sections devoted to the “agents”, their “images” and their “practices”, shed new light on this religious movement that appears much more heterogeneous and colorful than previously recognized.
Sacred Thresholds. The Door to the Sanctuary in Late Antiquity offers a far-reaching account of boundaries within pagan and Christian sanctuaries: gateways in a precinct, outer doors of a temple or church, inner doors of a
cella. The study of these liminal spaces within Late Antiquity – itself a key period of transition during the spread of Christianity, when cultural paradigms were redefined – demands an approach that is both interdisciplinary and diachronic. Emilie van Opstall brings together both upcoming and noted scholars of Greek and Latin literature and epigraphy, archaeology, art history, philosophy, and religion to discuss the experience of those who crossed from the worldly to the divine, both physically and symbolically. What did this passage from the profane to the sacred mean to them, on a sensory, emotive and intellectual level? Who was excluded, and who was admitted? The articles each offer a unique perspective on pagan and Christian sanctuary doors in the Late Antique Mediterranean.
Religious Practices and Christianization of the Late Antique City, historians, archaeologists and historians of religion provide studies of the phenomenon of the Christianization of the Roman Empire within the context of the transformations and eventual decline of the Greco-Roman city. The eleven papers brought together here aim to describe the possible links between religious, but also political, economic and social mutations engendered by Christianity and the evolution of the antique city. Combining a multiplicity of sources and analytical approaches, this book seeks to measure the impact on the city of the progressive abandonment of traditional cults to the advantage of new Christian religious practices.