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In: Power, Politics and the Cults of Isis
In: Power, Politics and the Cults of Isis
In: Individuals and Materials in the Greco-Roman Cults of Isis (SET)

Abstract

This chapter aims to build on the existing scholarship in relation to the ancient custom of dedicating representations of the footprints of bare or sandalled feet, while at the same time seeking to revolutionise previous interpretative approaches. The goal of this paper is to review the whole body of evidence related to these Isiac examples and to give a new interpretation of it. The interpretative approach followed in recent studies has been exclusively limited to a highly positivistic iconographical attempt to use footprints as a semiological tool in order to identify—as if they were actual fingerprints—their “owners”, interpreting them as traces either of the epiphany of the god or of a devotee’s visit to a temple (possibly within the frame of a pro itu et reditu vow). By contrast, the methodological approach developed here, which combines archaeological expertise on the Isiac cults with reflections inspired primarily by the work of Georges Didi-Huberman on the art of Marcel Duchamp, considers these footprints as an open process of deeply operational value and heuristic fecundity, namely as a polysemic (spatial and morphological) visual operator of human-divine communication.

In: SENSORIVM: The Senses in Roman Polytheism
In 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.
In: Individuals and Materials in the Greco-Roman Cults of Isis (SET)
In: Individuals and Materials in the Greco-Roman Cults of Isis (SET)
In: Individuals and Materials in the Greco-Roman Cults of Isis (SET)
In: Individuals and Materials in the Greco-Roman Cults of Isis (SET)
In: Individuals and Materials in the Greco-Roman Cults of Isis (SET)