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Corinth: The First City of Greece

An Urban History of Late Antique Cult and Religion


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.

The Palmyrenes of Dura-Europos

A Study of Religious Interaction in Roman Syria


Lucinda Dirven

This volume deals with the religion of Palmyrenes in Dura-Europos during the first three centuries of the Common Era, and focuses upon the religious interaction between this migrant community and their new residence. By studying the religious interaction of distinct groups on a local level, this study aims to contribute to a better understanding of the process of religious development and change in Syria during the Roman period.
Information on the Palmyrenes of Dura-Europos consists primarily of archaeological remains that have been found there. The Palmyrene materials from Dura-Europos have never been published collectively, and for this reason they are enumerated and re-evaluated in the appendix. The book is richly illustrated with 20 figures and 22 plates.

Portraits of Spiritual Authority

Religious Power in Early Christianity, Byzantium and the Christian Orient


Edited by Jan Willem Drijvers and John Watt

This volume deals with several figures of spiritual authority in Christianity during late antiquity and the early middle ages, and seeks to illuminate the way in which the struggle for religious influence evolved with changes in church and society.
A number of literary portraits are examined, portraits which, in various literary genres, are themselves designed to establish and propagate the authority of the people whose lives and activities they describe.
The sequence begins with visionary and prophetic figures of the second and third centuries, proceeds through several testimonies from the fourth century to the power of holy persons, moves on to Syriac portraits of the fifth to seventh centuries, and ends with the demise of the authority of the holy man in the eighth.


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.


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.


John J. Collins

This volume brings together essays written over two decades by a leading authority in the field. The collection includes 2 recent essays that are published here for the first time. The articles cover major aspects of the discussion of Jewish apocalypticism, in relation to the Hebrew bible, the New Testament and the Hellenistic-Roman world. Distinctive strengths of the volume include clusters of essays on the Sibylline oracles and on the relationship between apocalypticism and wisdom. A section of the book is devoted to studies on Daniel.

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

Cybele, Attis and Related Cults

Essays in Memory of M.J. Vermaseren


Edited by Eugene N. Lane

This volume brings together articles on the cult of the mother-goddess Cybele and her consort Attis, from the emergence of the religion in Anatolia through its expansion into Greece and Italy to the latest times of the Roman Empire and its farthest extent west, the Iberian Peninsula.
It combines the work of established scholars with that of young researchers in the field, and represents a truly international perspective.
The reader will find treatment inter alia of Cybele's emasculated priests, the Galli; the dissemination of Cybele-cult through the harbour city, Miletus; the cult of Cybele in Ephesus; the rock-cut sanctuary of Cybele at Akrai in Sicily; the competition between the Cybele-cult and Christianity; and the role of Attis in Neo-Platonic philosophy.

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.

Life and Loyalty

A Study in the Socio-Religious Culture of Syria and Mesopotamia in the Graeco-Roman Period Based on Epigraphical Evidence


Klaas Dijkstra

The formula 'for the life of' is often found in votive inscriptions, cast in Aramaic and other languages, which originate from the Syrian-Mesopotamian desert and adjacent areas and which roughly date from the first three centuries A.D. They belong to objects like statues and altars that usually were erected in temples and other structures with a ritual or sacred function. The inscriptions establish a relationship between the dedicator and one or more beneficiaries, those persons for whose life the dedication was made.
Since the social context evidently bears on both the meaning of the inscriptions as well as the status of the dedications, this volume deals with the nature of the relationships and the socio-religious function the dedications perform.

Sarolta A. Takacs

Isis and Sarapis in the Roman World deals with the integration of the cult of Isis among Roman cults, the subsequent transformation of Isis and Sarapis into gods of the Roman state, and the epigraphic employment of the names of these two deities independent from their cultic context. The myth that the guardians of tradition and Roman religion tried to curb the cult of Isis in order to rid Rome and the imperium from this decadent cult will be dispelled. A closer look at inscriptions from the Rhine and Danubian provinces shows that most dedicators were not Isiac cult initiates and that women did not outnumber men as dedicators. Inscriptions that mention the two deities in connection with a wish for the well-being of the emperor and the imperial family are of special significance.