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Edited by Valentino Gasparini and Richard Veymiers

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.

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Vaia Touna

Taking seriously critiques of historiography produced in recent decades, Vaia Touna advocates for an alternative approach to the way the past is studied. From Euripides’ tragedy Hippolytus, to the notion of voluntary associations in the Greco-Roman world, to the authenticity of traditional villages in Greece, Fabrications of the Greek Past argues that meanings (and thus identities) do not transcend time and space, and neither do they hide deep in the core of material artifacts, awaiting to be discovered by the careful interpreter. Instead, this book demonstrates that meanings are always relative to their present-day context; they are historical products created by social actors through their ever-contemporary acts of identification.



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“By disturbing the notion of an easily knowable Greek past, Touna makes an invaluable contribution to critical scholarship regarding ancient cultures and to contemporary theory about ideological uses of history.”

- Naomi Goldenberg, University of Ottawa



“From an insider to Greek tradition, expert in its modern appropriations and translations, Fabrications is an important stimulus to metatheory and self-reflexivity in the study of religion, ancient and contemporary.”

- Gerhard van den Heever, University of South Africa



“Vaia Touna expertly dissects modern discourses on the past, arguing that our contemporary interests don't just color our accounts of the past, they constitute them. A fantastic book.”

- Brent Nongbri, author of Before Religion: A History of a Modern Concept

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Edited by Krzysztof Ulanowski

The Religious Aspect of Warfare in the Ancient Near East, Greece and Rome is a volume dedicated to investigating the relationship between religion and war in antiquity in minute detail. The nineteen chapters are divided into three groups: the ancient Near East, Greece, and Rome. They are presented in turn and all possible aspects of warfare and its religious connections are investigated. The contributors focus on the theology of war, the role of priests in warfare, natural phenomena as signs for military activity, cruelty, piety, the divinity of humans in specific martial cases, rituals of war, iconographical representations and symbols of war, and even the archaeology of war. As editor Krzysztof Ulanowski invited both well-known specialists such as Robert Parker, Nicholas Sekunda, and Pietro Mander to contribute, as well as many young, talented scholars with fresh ideas. From this polyphony of voices, perspectives and opinions emerges a diverse, but coherent, representation of the complex relationship between religion and war in antiquity.

Power, Politics and the Cults of Isis

Proceedings of the Vth International Conference of Isis Studies, Boulogne-sur-Mer, October 13-15, 2011

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Edited by Laurent Bricault and Miguel John Versluys

In the Hellenistic and Roman world intimate relations existed between those holding power and the cults of Isis. This book is the first to chart these various appropriations over time within a comparative perspective. Ten carefully selected case studies show that “the Egyptian gods” were no exotic outsiders to the Hellenistic and Roman Mediterranean, but constituted a well institutionalised and frequently used religious option. Ranging from the early Ptolemies and Seleucids to late Antiquity, the case studies illustrate how much symbolic meaning was made with the cults of Isis by kings, emperors, cities and elites. Three articles introduce the theme of Isis and the longue durée theoretically, simultaneously exploring a new approach towards concepts like ruler cult and Religionspolitik.

Eduard Iricinschi

convert Trypho and his friends to a version of Christian practices, palatable for a Jewish audience. The author justifies Justin’s choice of the heresiological discourse to appeal to Jews by presenting heresy not only as the fulfillment of a prophecy but also as similar, in its social structure, to the

Devin L. White

incense then he will combine equal amounts of pure frankincense, cinnamon, onyx, and myrrh according to the Law. These are the tetrad of the virtues: for if they are full and present in equal measure, the mind will not be betrayed. Ch. 2 Once purified by the fullness of the virtues, the soul prepares the

Clarifying the Eclipse

Ascetics, Politics, and the Poetics of Power in Post-Roman Iberia

David Ungvary

[…] I have addressed all these matters in a brief document, presenting them just as they were formulated by the scholars of antiquity and especially in the works of catholic authors. For to know the nature of these things is not superstitious knowledge, as long as they are investigated in accordance

Ian N. Mills

may consult the human soul. The case for the One True God need not appeal to philosophical training but to ordinary experience. While still relevant to the question at hand, Tertullian’s statement is not, as often presented, a straightforward description of exclusively internal readership. First

Willem J. C. Blom

Suetonius did not mean that Chrestus was present in Rome in 49 CE when writing “ impulsore Chresto ”. 19 For Orosius, who cites this passage and relates it to Christ, the word choice of Suetonius was apparently not a problem. Furthermore, it is very well possible that the source of Suetonius was mistaken

Jan N. Bremmer

present an exhaustive survey of early Lycaonian Christianity, based on both literary and, especially, non-literary sources. Its size, over 1000 pages, prevents me of course from a detailed discussion. Yet I will try to give an impression of this impressive book, which is unequalled in its thoroughness