This volume brings together scholars in religion, archaeology, philology, and history to explore case studies and theoretical models of converging religions. The twenty-four essays offered in this volume, which derive from Hittite, Cilician, Lydian, Phoenician, Greek, and Roman cultural settings, focus on encounters at the boundaries of cultures, landscapes, chronologies, social class and status, the imaginary, and the materially operative. Broad patterns ultimately emerge that reach across these boundaries, and suggest the state of the question on the study of convergence, and the potential fruitfulness for comparative and interdisciplinary studies as models continue to evolve.
Our knowledge of ancient Greece has been transformed in the last century by an increased understanding of the cultures of the Ancient Near East. This is particularly true of ancient religion. This book looks at the relationship between the religious systems of Ancient Greece and the Hittites, who controlled Turkey in the Late Bronze Age (1400-1200 BC). The cuneiform texts preserved in the Hittite archives provide a particularly rich source for religious practice, detailing festivals, purification rituals, oracle-consultations, prayers, and myths of the Hittite state, as well as documenting the religious practice of neighbouring Anatolian states in which the Hittites took an interest. Hittite religion is thus more comprehensively documented than any other ancient religious tradition in the Near East, even Egypt. The Hittites are also known to have been in contact with Mycenaean Greece, known to them as Ahhiyawa. The book first sets out the evidence and provides a methodological paradigm for using comparative data. It then explores cases where there may have been contact or influence, such as in the case of scapegoat rituals or the Kumarbi-Cycle. Finally, it considers key aspects of religious practices shared by both systems, such as the pantheon, rituals of war, festivals, and animal sacrifice. The aim of such a comparison is to discover clues that may further our understanding of the deep history of religious practices and, when used in conjunction with historical data, illuminate the differences between cultures and reveal what is distinctive about each of them.
Employing frameworks of lived religion and materiality, this book provides the first full-length study of personal religious experience in the Greek Archaic and Classical periods. Rask analyzes archeological, epigraphic, and textual evidence to highlight the role of individuals as vital actors and makers of Greek religion. A range of perspectives, such as those of Archaic mariners and Late Classical weaving women, show that religion infused the daily lives of ancient Greeks. Chapters visit the many spaces where people engaged in religious activities, from household kitchens to international emporia, as well as shrines both large and small. The book also interrogates devotional activities such as making votives and engaging in lifelong relationships with divinities, arguing for the emotionally rich character of Greek lived religion. Not only do these considerations demonstrate underexplored ways for reconstructing aspects of Greek religion, but also allow us to rethink familiar subjects such as votive portraits and epiphany from new angles. Personal Experience and Materiality in Greek Religion is of interest to students and scholars working on ancient Greek religion and archeology, as well as anyone interested in daily life and lived experience in the ancient world.
An interdisciplinary consideration of how eastern Mediterranean cultures in the first millennium BCE were meaningfully connected. The early first millennium BCE marks one of the most culturally diverse periods in the history of the eastern Mediterranean. Surveying the region from Greece to Iraq, one finds a host of cultures and political formations, all distinct, yet all visibly connected in meaningful ways. These include the early polities of Geometric period Greece, the Phrygian kingdom of central Anatolia, the Syro-Anatolian city-states, the seafaring Phoenicians and the biblical Israelites of the southern Levant, Egypt’s Twenty-first through Twenty-fifth Dynasties, the Urartian kingdom of the eastern Anatolian highlands, and the expansionary Neo-Assyrian Empire of northern Mesopotamia. This volume adopts an interdisciplinary approach to understanding the social and political significance of how interregional networks operated within and between Mediterranean cultures during that era.
The present book is a compilation of studies on narratives of mythical origins in different cultures written by outstanding specialists. It aims to provide a broad view on creation-myths from different times and areas of the world with a particular focus on how these texts contributed to the conception of the past as “universal history”, as a common origin of mankind or as the great opening, the theatrum mundi. On the other hand, the purpose of this book is to study the phenomenon from a typological point of view, analyzing the specific characteristics of this particular type of texts, rather than finding influences between the different cultures in the genesis of these narratives.
Religion is closely linked to social development as it often serves as the ideological fundament of a society and one of the foremost expressions of its culture. The articles in this volume are devoted to the study of religious crisis in Anqituity and deal with these pheonomena in the Ancient Near East, Rome, Greece, China and India.
In Greco-Roman Egypt, recipes for magical undertaking, called magical formularies, commonly existed for love potions, curses, attempts to best business rivals—many of the same challenges that modern people might face. In The Greco-Egyptian Magical Formularies: Libraries, Books, and Individual Recipes, volume editors Christopher Faraone and Sofia Torallas Tovar present a series of essays by scholars involved in a multiyear project to reedit and translate the various magical handbooks that were inscribed in the Roman period in the Greek or Egyptian languages. For the first time, the material remains of these papyrus rolls and codices are closely examined, revealing important information about the production of books in Egypt, the scribal culture in which they were produced, and the traffic in single recipes copied from them. Especially important for historians of the book and the Christian Bible are new insights in the historical shift from roll to codex, complicated methods of inscribing the bilingual papyri (in which the Greek script is written left to right and the demotic script right to left), and the new realization that several of the longest extant handbooks are clearly compilations of two or more shorter handbooks, which may have come from different places. The essays also reexamine and rethink the idea that these handbooks came from the personal libraries of practicing magicians or temple scriptoria, in one case going so far as to suggest that two of the handbooks had literary pretensions of a sort and were designed to be read for pleasure rather than for quotidian use in making magical recipes.
Cave and Worship in Ancient Greece brings together a series of stimulating chapters contributing to the archaeology and our modern understanding of the character and importance of cave sanctuaries in the fi rst millennium BCE Mediterranean. Written by emerging and established archaeologists and researchers, the book employs a fascinating and wide range of approaches and methodologies to investigate, and interpret material assemblages from cave shrines, many of which are introduced here for the fi rst time. An introductory section explores the emergence and growth of caves as centres of cult and religion. The chapters then probe some of the meanings attached to cave spaces and votive materials such as terracotta fi gurines, and ceramics, and those who created and used them. The authors use sensory and gender approaches, discuss the identity of the worshippers, and the contribution of statistical analysis to the role of votive materials. At the heart of the volume is the examination of cave materials excavated on the Cycladic islands and Crete, in Attika and Aitoloakarnania, on the Ionian islands and in southern Italy. This is a welcome volume for students of prehistoric and classical archaeology,enthusiasts of the history of caves, religion, ancient history, and anthropology.
The first comprehensive history of the cultural impact of the Phoenicians, who knit together the ancient Mediterranean world long before the rise of the Greeks. Imagine you are a traveler sailing to the major cities around the Mediterranean in 750 BC. You would notice a remarkable similarity in the dress, alphabet, consumer goods, and gods from Gibraltar to Tyre. This was not the Greek world—it was the Phoenician. Based in Tyre, Sidon, Byblos, and other cities along the coast of present-day Lebanon, the Phoenicians spread out across the Mediterranean building posts, towns, and ports. Propelled by technological advancements of a kind unseen since the Neolithic revolution, Phoenicians knit together diverse Mediterranean societies, fostering a literate and sophisticated urban elite sharing common cultural, economic, and aesthetic modes. The Phoenician imprint on the Mediterranean lasted nearly a thousand years, beginning in the Early Iron Age. Following the trail of the Phoenicians from the Levant to the Atlantic coast of Iberia, Carolina López-Ruiz offers the first comprehensive study of the cultural exchange that transformed the Mediterranean in the eighth and seventh centuries BC. Greeks, Etruscans, Sardinians, Iberians, and others adopted a Levantine-inflected way of life, as they aspired to emulate Near Eastern civilizations. López-Ruiz explores these many inheritances, from sphinxes and hieratic statues to ivories, metalwork, volute capitals, inscriptions, and Ashtart iconography. Meticulously documented and boldly argued, Phoenicians and the Making of the Mediterranean revises the Hellenocentric model of the ancient world and restores from obscurity the true role of Near Eastern societies in the history of early civilizations.
Martyrs create space and time through the actions they take, the fate they suffer, the stories they prompt, the cultural narratives against which they take place and the retelling of their tales in different places and contexts. The title "Desiring Martyrs" is meant in two senses. First, it refers to protagonists and antagonists of the martyrdom narratives who as literary characters seek martyrs and the way they inscribe certain kinds of cultural and social desire. Second, it describes the later celebration of martyrs via narrative, martyrdom acts, monuments, inscriptions, martyria, liturgical commemoration, pilgrimage, etc. Here there is a cultural desire to tell or remember a particular kind of story about the past that serves particular communal interests and goals. By applying the spatial turn to these ancient texts the volume seeks to advance a still nascent social geographical understanding of emergent Christian and Jewish martyrdom. It explores how martyr narratives engage pre-existing time-space configurations to result in new appropriations of earlier traditions.
This volume collects 33 papers from an international conference held at Charles University in 2015. Contributions span the full range of Hittite studies and related disciplines, from Anatolian and Indo-European linguistics and cuneiform philology to Ancient Near Eastern archaeology, history, and religion.