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Aegyptiaca Romana

Nilotic Scenes and the Roman Views of Egypt

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Miguel John Versluys

This archaeological study investigates the meaning of the Egyptian and egyptianising artefacts that have been preserved from the Roman world in different ways.
Its point of departure is a detailed study on the so-called Nilotic scenes or Nilotic landscapes. The book presents a comprehensive and illustrated catalogue of the genre that was popular all around the Mediterranean from the Hellenistic period to the Christian era as well as a contextualisation and interpretation.
Drawing on the conclusions thus reached the whole group of Aegyptiaca Romana is subsequently studied. Based on a general overview of this material in the Roman world and, moreover, a case-study of the Aegyptiaca from the city of Rome the different meanings of this cultural phenomenon are mapped. Together with other Egyptian deities popular in the Roman world, the goddess Isis plays an important role in this discussion.
Aegyptiaca Romana, among them the Nilotic scenes, are part of the reflection of the Roman attitude towards and thoughts on Egypt, Egyptian culture and the East. The concluding part of the book illustrates and tries to explain this Roman discourse on Egypt.

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Duncan Fishwick

This volume deals with the institution and evolution of imperial cult at the provincial level from the earliest foundations under Augustus down to the mid-third century A.D.
On the basis of detailed examination of evidence from the different regions or provinces of the Latin west the emphasis of provincial cults can be seen to move first from the living emperor and Roma to the deified emperor, then from a composite cult of living and deified dead emperors to a renewed emphasis on the reigning emperor in the late second and early third centuries.
Analysis is based primarily on the study of epigraphical, numismatic and iconographic evidence, generously illuminated by plates. The volume concludes with a series of essays summarizing the main lines of development in the light of various related issues.

Series:

Duncan Fishwick

This volume analyzes the priesthood of the provincial cult in every province of the Latin west where evidence has survived in the period from Augustus down to the mid third century.
Particular attention is paid to the epigraphic record, notably the Testimony of honorific statues especially at provincial centres, but discussion also focusses on the origin and background of provincial priests, their office and duties, and their careers both before and after holding provincial office.
Of special interest are the sixteen tables that list the main facts preserved by the epigraphic record, also a concluding overview that summarizes the principal features of the institution including the office of priestess and the role of administrative officials. Some fifty plates illustrate the text.

Kykeon

Studies in Honour of H.S. Versnel

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Edited by H.F.J. Horstmanshoff, H. W. Singor, F. T. Van Straten and J. H. M. Strubbe

A collection of papers with new insights on ancient religion, read at a colloquium in honour of Professor H.S. Versnel ("Inconsistencies in Greek and Roman Religion"). The contributions, presented by nine leading scholars in the field, cover many areas of the religious experience of the Greeks and Romans: myth and ritual (W. Burkert), the gods (F. Zeitlin), cult, festivals, sacrifice. Several papers consider methodological problems and the progress of scholarship; they highlight the contribution of H.S. Versnel to the field. The papers are based on a wide range of sources: pagan and Christian, literary and epigraphical and iconographical.
The collection will fascinate all scholars interested in ancient religion, whether they study malign magic, the Imperial cult or general theory.

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.

Descenders to the Chariot

The People Behind the Hekhalot Literature

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James Davila

The Hekhalot literature is a bizarre conglomeration of Jewish esoteric and revelatory texts in Hebrew and Aramaic, produced sometime between late antiquity and the early Middle Ages and surviving in medieval manuscripts.
These texts claims to describe the self-induced spiritual experiences of the "descenders to the chariot" and to reveal the techniques that permitted these magico-religious practitioners to view for themselves Ezekiel's Merkavah as well as to gain control of angels and a supernatural mastery of Torah.
Drawing on epigraphic and archaeological evidence from the Middle East, anthropological models, and a wide range of cross-cultural evidence, this book aims to show that the Hekhalot literature preserves the teachings and rituals of real religious functionaries who flourished in late antiquity and who were quite like the functionaries anthopologists call shamans.

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J.F. Healey

The history of the Nabataean Kingdom of Hellenistic-Roman times, centred on Petra, is now well known, but until the publication of this book, no monograph has been devoted to Nabataean religion, known to us principally from inscriptions in Nabataean Aramaic, iconography, archaeology and Greek literary texts.
After a critical survey of the sources, the author analyses systematically the information on the individual gods worshipped by the Nabataeans, including a detailed illustrated account of temples and iconography. A further major section discusses religious themes: aniconism, henotheism, death-cult and the divinisation of kings. In a final chapter, Nabataean religion is considered in relation to Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
The book will be of particular interest to historians of religion in the Graeco-Roman Near East and to Semitic epigraphists.

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.

Corinth: The First City of Greece

An Urban History of Late Antique Cult and Religion

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Richard M. Rothaus

This book addresses cult and religion in the city of Corinth from the 4th to 7th centuries of our era. The work incorporates and synthesizes all available evidence, literary, archaeological and other.
The interaction and conflict between Christian and non-Christian activity is placed into its urban context and seen as simultaneously existing and overlapping cultural activity. Late antique religion is defined as cult-based rather than doctrinally-based, and thus this volume focuses not on what people believed, but rather what they did.
An emphasis on cult activity reveals a variety of types of interaction between groups, ranging from confrontational events at dilapidated polytheist cult sites, to full polysemous and shared cult activity at the so-called "Fountain of the Lamps". Non-Christian traditions are shown to have been recognized and viable through the sixth century. The tentative conclusion is drawn that a clear definition of "pagan" and "Christian" begins at an urban level with the Christian re-monumentalization of Corinth with basilicas. The disappearance of "pagan" cult is best attributed to the development of a new city socially and physically based in Christianity, rather than any purely "religious" development.