Browse results

You are looking at 1 - 10 of 39 items for :

  • Religion in Antiquity x
  • Upcoming Publications x
  • Search level: All x
  • Status (Books): Published x
Clear All
In the midst of academic debates about the utility of the term “magic” and the cultural meaning of ancient words like mageia or khesheph, this Guide to the Study of Ancient Magic seeks to advance the discussion by separating out three topics essential to the very idea of magic. The three major sections of this volume address (1) indigenous terminologies for ambiguous or illicit ritual in antiquity; (2) the ancient texts, manuals, and artifacts commonly designated “magical” or used to represent ancient magic; and (3) a series of contexts, from the written word to materiality itself, to which the term “magic” might usefully pertain.

The individual essays in this volume cover most of Mediterranean and Near Eastern antiquity, with essays by both established and emergent scholars of ancient religions.

In a burgeoning field of “magic studies” trying both to preserve and to justify critically the category itself, this volume brings new clarity and provocative insights. This will be an indispensable resource to all interested in magic in the Bible and the Ancient Near East, ancient Greece and Rome, Early Christianity and Judaism, Egypt through the Christian period, and also comparative and critical theory.

Contributors are: Magali Bailliot, Gideon Bohak, Véronique Dasen, Albert de Jong, Jacco Dieleman, Esther Eidinow, David Frankfurter, Fritz Graf, Yuval Harari, Naomi Janowitz, Sarah Iles Johnston, Roy D. Kotansky, Arpad M. Nagy, Daniel Schwemer, Joseph E. Sanzo, Jacques van der Vliet, Andrew Wilburn.
Volume Editor: Aude Busine
In 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.
Author: Peter Alpass
Flourishing in the centuries around the birth of Christ, the Nabataean kingdom covered a large swathe of the north-western Arabian Peninsula and was shaped by cultural influences from the Mediterranean, Arabian and wider Semitic worlds. The Religious Life of Nabataea examines the inscriptions, sculptures and architectural remains left by worshippers in every corner of the kingdom, from the spectacular remains of the desert city of Petra to the fertile plains of southern Syria.

While previous scholarly approaches have minimised the diversity of cultic practices and traditions found in Nabataea, this study reveals a vibrant religious landscape dominated by a variety of local traditions.
Ancient Greek Divination in Context
Author: Kim Beerden
Worlds Full of Signs compares Greek divination to divinatory practices in Neo-Assyrian Mesopotamia and Republican Rome. It argues that the character of Greek divination differed fundamentally from that of the two comparanda. Ample attention is given to background and method at first. Subsequent chapters discuss the divinatory elements – sign, homo divinans, and text, relating divination to time and uncertainty. This book brings together sources originating from various times and places, questioning these to consider both generalities of ancient divination and specifics of Greek divination. Greek divination was inherently flexible on many levels: these findings should be connected to Greek views on time and the future as well as the relatively low level of divinatory institutionalization.
Volume Editors: Laurent Bricault and Corinne Bonnet
Panthée presents a collective reflection relating to the changes that affected the Graeco-Roman Empire and over the long term altered its religious landscapes. Fifty years after the foundation of the series EPRO, the volume aims to avoid the division between the supposedly "Roman" or "Graeco-Roman" and the "Oriental" by linking the available information relating the different major areas, such as the relation between local and global, the place of emotions in relation to soteriological and initiatory aspects, strategies of integration and negotiation of identities. For the first time the leading specialists in every field bring their approaches into contact with one another, and jointly construct a picture of practices and conceptual frames, which, in their diversity and inter-action, model a religious universe whose complexity will help to understand our modern globalising world.

Panthée propose une réflexion collective sur les mutations qui ont affecté l'Empire gréco-romain et ont progressivement remodelé ses paysages religieux. Cinquante ans après la création de la collection des EPRO, ce livre ambitionne de dépasser le clivage entre ce qui serait "romain", ou "gréco-romain", et ce qui serait "oriental" en articulant les données disponibles autour de quelques thèmes majeurs, comme les jeux d'échelle entre local et universel, la place du registre des émotions en relation avec les dimensions sotériologiques et mystériques, les stratégies d'intégration et de négociation des identités. Pour la première fois, les meilleurs spécialistes venus de tous les horizons croisent leurs approches et construisent ensemble un tableau des pratiques et des cadres de pensée qui, dans leur diversité et dans leur interaction, dessinent les contours d'un univers religieux dont la complexité aide à penser le monde moderne de la globalisation.
Papers from the International Conference held at the University of Zaragoza, 30 Sept. – 1st Oct. 2005
Volume Editors: 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.
Myth, Salvation and Ethics in the Cults of Cybele, Isis and Mithras
Author: Jaime Alvar
The traditional grand narrative correlating the decline of Graeco-Roman religion with the rise of Christianity has been under pressure for three decades. This book argues that the alternative accounts now emerging significantly underestimate the role of three major cults, of Cybele and Attis, Isis and Serapis, and Mithras. Although their differences are plain, these cults present sufficient common features to justify their being taken typologically as a group. All were selective adaptations of much older cults of the Fertile Crescent. It was their relative sophistication, their combination of the imaginative power of unfamiliar myth with distinctive ritual performance and ethical seriousness, that enabled them both to focus and to articulate a sense of the autonomy of religion from the socio-political order, a sense they shared with Early Christianity. The notion of 'mystery' was central to their ability to navigate the Weberian shift from ritualist to ethical salvation.
Studies in Ancient Divination
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.
The London-Leiden Magical Manuscripts and Translation in Egyptian Ritual (100-300 CE)
Author: Jacco Dieleman
This book is an investigation into the sphere of production and use of two related bilingual magical handbooks found as part of a larger collection of magical and alchemical manuscripts around 1828 in the hills surrounding Luxor, Egypt. Both handbooks, dating to the Roman period, contain an assortment of recipes for magical rites in the Demotic and Greek language. The library which comprises these two handbooks is nowadays better known as the Theban Magical Library.
The book traces the social and cultural milieu of the composers, compilers and users of the extant spells through a combination of philology, sociolinguistics and cultural analysis. To anybody working on Greco-Roman Egypt, ancient magic, and bilingualism this study is of significant importance.
Editors: 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).