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The Nile Mosaic of Palestrina

Early Evidence of Egyptian Religion in Italy

Paul G.P. Meyboom

The famous Nile Mosaic of Palestrina, ancient Praeneste in central Italy, dating to c. 100 B.C., is one of the earliest large mosaics which have been preserved from the classical world. It presents a unique, comprehensive picture of Egypt and Nubia. The interpretation of the mosaic is disputed, suggestions ranging from an exotic decoration to a topographical picture or a religious allegory.
The present study demonstrates that the mosaic depicts rituals connected with Isis and Osiris and the yearly Nile flood. The presence of these Egyptian religious scenes at Praeneste can be explained by the assimilation of isis and Fortuna, the tutelary goddess of Praeneste, and by the interpretation of the mosaic as a symbol of divine providence.

Kykeon

Studies in Honour of H.S. Versnel

Series:

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.

The Nile Mosaic of Palestrina

Early Evidence of Egyptian Religion in Italy

Series:

Paul G.P. Meyboom

The famous Nile Mosaic of Palestrina, ancient Praeneste in central Italy, dating to c. 100 B.C., is one of the earliest large mosaics which have been preserved from the classical world. It presents a unique, comprehensive picture of Egypt and Nubia. The interpretation of the mosaic is disputed, suggestions ranging from an exotic decoration to a topographical picture or a religious allegory.
The present study demonstrates that the mosaic depicts rituals connected with Isis and Osiris and the yearly Nile flood. The presence of these Egyptian religious scenes at Praeneste can be explained by the assimilation of isis and Fortuna, the tutelary goddess of Praeneste, and by the interpretation of the mosaic as a symbol of divine providence.

Philostorgius

Church History

Series:

Philip Amidon

Philostorgius (born 368 C.E.) was a member of the Eunomian sect of Christianity, a nonconformist faction deeply opposed to the form of Christianity adopted by the Roman government as the official religion of its empire. He wrote his twelve-book Church History, the critical edition of the surviving remnants of which is presented here in English translation, at the beginning of the fifth century as a revisionist history of the church and the empire in the fourth and early-fifth centuries. Sometimes contradicting and often supplementing what is found in other histories of the period, Christian or otherwise, it offers a rare dissenting picture of the Christian world of the time.

Paperback edition is available from the Society of Biblical Literature (www.sbl-site.org)

The Early Amazons

Modern and Ancient Perspectives on a Persistent Myth

Series:

Josine Blok

The Early Amazons offers a new understanding of the ancient Amazon myth, situating mythical representations in the realm of cultural history.
The first section examines how the Amazons have presented a challenge to views on history, myth and gender in classical mythology from the late eighteenth century up to the impact of structuralism. Topics included are nineteenth-century historiography and the interest in linguistics.
The second section sheds new light on the culture of archaic Greece, offering a coherent assessment of literary and visual representations. Taking mythical narrative as a form of oral storytelling, it shows the emergence of the Amazon motif and its meaning in the world of epic. Iconographical analysis reveals how the visual arts have made a contribution of their own to the imaginary presence of the Amazons.

Dionysos in Classical Athens

An Understanding through Images

Series:

Cornelia Isler-Kerényi

Dionysos, with his following of satyrs and women, was a major theme in a big part of the figure painted pottery in 500-300 B.C. Athens. As an original testimonial of their time, the imagery on these vases convey what this god meant to his worshippers. It becomes clear that - contrary to what is usually assumed - he was not only appropriate for wine, wine indulgence, ecstasy and theatre. Rather, he was present in both the public and private sphere on many, both happy and sad, occasions. In addition, the vase painters have emphasized different aspects of Dionysos for their customers inside and outside of Athens, depending on the political and cultural situation.

The "Belly-Myther" of Endor

Interpretations of 1 Kingdoms 28 in the Early Church

Series:

Rowan Greer and Margaret Mitchell

The story of Saul and the woman at Endor in 1 Samuel 28 (LXX 1 Kingdoms 28) lay at the center of energetic disputes among early Christian authors about the nature and fate of the soul, the source of prophetic gifts, and biblical truth. In addition to providing the original texts and fresh translations of works by Origen, Eustathius of Antioch (not previously translated into English), and six other authors, Greer and Mitchell offer an insightful introduction to and detailed analysis of the rhetorical cast and theological stakes involved in early church debates on this notoriously difficult passage.

Paperback edition is available from the Society of Biblical Literature (www.sbl-site.org)

Paroles d'Apollon

Pratiques et traditions oraculaires dans l’Antiquité tardive (IIe - VIe siècles)

Series:

Aude Busine

This book deals with the making and the reuses of the divine words which were ascribed to Apollo from the 2nd to the 6th centuries AD and which have now become available in both epigraphical and literary sources. The larger part has been issued by the sanctuaries of Claros and Didyma. This comprehensive and historical approach analyses the oracles of Apollo according to the various contexts ancient authors used to resort to the sacred words.
The first part of the book examines, in the context of the Graeco-Roman city-states, the oracular texts in relation to the sanctuaries where they had originally been produced. The second part explores the different ways in which the Apollinian oracles were reappropriated by pagan and Christian authors for philosophical, polemical and apologetic purposes.
This study of the sacred texts reveals in an original manner the cultural, political, and religious life of pagans and Christians in the Roman Empire.

Greek Sacred Law

A Collection of New Documents (NGSL)

Series:

Eran Lupu

This work contains two parts. Part I constitutes a guide to the corpus of Greek sacred law and its contents. A discussion of the history of the corpus and the principles governing its composition is followed by a detailed review of its contents, in which the evidence is classified according to subject matter. Part II contains inscriptions published since the late 1960s from all around the Greek world excluding Cos and Asia Minor (checklists for these are appended). The text of each inscription is presented alongside restorations, epigraphical commentary, translation, and a comprehensive running commentary. Most of the inscriptions are illustrated. The volume should prove useful to scholars of Greek religion, historians, and epigraphists.

De Memphis à Rome

Actes du Ier Colloque international sur les études isiaques, Poitiers - Futuroscope, 8-10 avril 1999

Series:

Edited by Laurent Bricault

The studies of the Isiac Cults are forty years old. Many of the scholars who have contributed to the development of this particular field of research, - the diffusion of the Egyptian cults in the Graeco-Roman world -, met in the Futuroscope of Poitiers for a three-day colloquium, to establish the progress of research, and the subjects which need more discussion. The synthesis of this colloquium is presented in this volume. The best specialists in the world give their assessment of the past forty years of research: which tools do students and scholars have? Which -provisional- conclusions can be drawn about, for example, the hellenization of Isis, the reality of the Roman soldier's devotion to Isis or Sarapis, the celebration of the Isiaca in Rome from Republican days well into the Empire? This volume is a very useful update on what we do and do not know in the study of the Isiac cults in the Graeco-Roman world.