Dedicating objects to the divine was a central component of both Greek and Roman religion. Some of the most conspicuous offerings were shaped like parts of the internal or external human body: so-called ?anatomical votives?. These archaeological artefacts capture the modern imagination, recalling vividly the physical and fragile bodies of the past whilst posing interpretative challenges in the present. This volume scrutinises this distinctive dedicatory phenomenon, bringing together for the first time a range of methodologically diverse approaches which challenge traditional assumptions and simple categorisations. The chapters presented here ask new questions about what constitutes an anatomical votive, how they were used and manipulated in cultural, cultic and curative contexts and the complex role of anatomical votives in negotiations between humans and gods, the body and its disparate parts, divine and medical healing, ancient assemblages and modern collections and collectors. In seeking to re-contextualise and re-conceptualise anatomical votives this volume uniquely juxtaposes the medical with the religious, the social with the conceptual, the idea of the body in fragments with the body whole and the museum with the sanctuary, crossing the boundaries between studies of ancient religion, medicine, the body and the reception of antiquity.
This book examines the ways in which lived religion in Roman Italy involved personal and communal experiences of the religious agency generated when ritualised activities caused human and more-than-human things to become bundled together into relational assemblages. Drawing upon broadly posthumanist and new materialist theories concerning the thingliness of things, it sets out to re-evaluate the role of the material world within Roman religion and to offer new perspectives on the formation of multi-scalar forms of ancient religious knowledge. It explores what happens when a materially informed approach is systematically applied to the investigation of typical questions about Roman religion such as: What did Romans understand ‘religion’ to mean? What did religious experiences allow people to understand about the material world and their own place within it? How were experiences of ritual connected with shared beliefs or concepts about the relationship between the mortal and divine worlds? How was divinity constructed and perceived? To answer these questions, it gathers and evaluates archaeological evidence associated with a series of case studies. Each of these focuses on a key component of the ritualised assemblages shown to have produced Roman religious agency – place, objects, bodies, and divinity – and centres on an examination of experiences of lived religion as it related to the contexts of monumentalised sanctuaries, cult instruments used in public sacrifice, anatomical votive offerings, cult images and the qualities of divinity, and magic as a situationally specific form of religious knowledge. By breaking down and then reconstructing the ritualised assemblages that generated and sustained Roman religion, this book makes the case for adopting a material approach to the study of ancient lived religion.
Covering material from the time of Julius Caesar to the sack of Rome, this topically arranged reference volume provides substantive entries on people, cities, government, institutions, military developments, material culture, and other topics related to the Roman Empire. • Covers all aspects of Imperial Rome, from politics to social life • Provides a selection of primary source documents • Organizes reference entries in topical categories and provides cross-references • Cites works for further reading and closes with a bibliography of the most important print and electronic resources
The Lived Ancient Religion project has radically changed perspectives on ancient religions and their supposedly personal or public character. This volume applies and further develops these methodological tools, new perspectives and new questions. The religious transformations of the Roman Imperial period appear in new light and more nuances by comparative confrontation and the integration of many disciplines. The contributions are written by specialists from a variety of disciplinary contexts (Jewish Studies, Theology, Classics, Early Christian Studies) dealing with the history of religion of the Mediterranean, West-Asian, and European area from the (late) Hellenistic period to the (early) Middle Ages and shaped by their intensive exchange. From the point of view of their respective fields of research, the contributors engage with discourses on agency, embodiment, appropriation and experience. They present innovative research in four fields also of theoretical debate, which are “Experiencing the Religious”, “Switching the Code”, „A Thing Called Body“ and “Commemorating the Moment”.
'A gloriously intimate tour of the body in antiquity' Gavin Francis 'A triumph ... an extraordinary book that stopped me in my tracks' Peter Frankopan 'Impressive ... sublime' Jimmy Mulville The Greek and Roman body is often seen as flawless - cast from life in buff bronze and white marble, to sit upon a pedestal. But this, of course, is a lie. Here, classicist Caroline Vout reaches beyond texts and galleries to expose Greek and Roman bodies for what they truly were: anxious, ailing, imperfect, diverse, and responsible for a legacy as lasting as their statues. Taking us on a gruesome, thrilling journey, she taps into the questions that those in the Greek and Roman worlds asked about their bodies - where do we come from? What makes us different from gods and animals? What happens to our bodies, and the forces that govern them, when we die? Vout also reveals the surprising actions people often took to transform their bodies - from sophisticated surgery and contraception to body oils, cosmetics and early gym memberships. You've seen the paintings, read the philosophers and heard the myths - now here's the classical body in all its flesh and blood glory.
Miniature and fragmentary objects are both eye-catching and yet easily dismissed. Tiny scale entices users with visions of Lilliputian worlds. The ambiguity of fragments intrigues us, offering tactile reminders of reality's transience. Yet, the standard scholarly approach to such objects has been to see them as secondary, incomplete things, whose principal purpose was to refer to a complete and often life-size whole. The Tiny and the Fragmented offers a series of fresh perspectives on the familiar concepts of the tiny and the fragmented. Written by a prestigious group of internationally-acclaimed scholars, the volume presents a remarkable diversity of case studies that range from Neolithic Europe to pre-Colombian Honduras to the classical Mediterranean and ancient Near East. Each scholar takes a different approach to issues of miniaturization and fragmentation but is united in considering the little and broken things of the past as objects in their own right. Whether a life-size or whole thing is made in a scaled-down form, deliberately broken as part of its use, or only considered successful in the eyes of ancient users if it shows some signs of wear, it challenges our expectations of representation and wholeness, of what it means for a work of art to be "finished" and "affective." Overall, The Tiny and the Fragmented demands a reconsideration of the social and contextual nature of miniaturization, fragmentation, and incompleteness, making the case that it was because of, rather than in spite of, their small or partial state that these objects were valued parts of the personal and social worlds they inhabited.
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.
Mobility and travel have always been key characteristics of human societies, having various cultural, social and religious aims and purposes. Travels shaped religions and societies and were a way for people to understand themselves, this world and the transcendent. This book analyses travelling in its social context in ancient and medieval societies. Why did people travel, how did they travel and what kind of communal networks and negotiations were inherent in their travels? Travel was not only the privilege of the wealthy or the male, but people from all social groups, genders and physical abilities travelled. Their reasons to travel varied from profane to sacred, but often these two were intermingled in the reasons for travelling. The chapters cover a long chronology from Antiquity to the end of the Middle Ages, offering the reader insights into the developments and continuities of travel and pilgrimage as a phenomenon of vital importance.
Author: J. Paul Getty museum (Los Angeles, Calif.).
Publisher: Getty Publications
Thesaurus Cultus et Rituum Antiquorum (ThesCRA) is a major multi-volume reference on all known aspects of Greek, Etruscan, and Roman cults and rituals. Providing both a sweeping overview and in-depth investigation, ThesCRA covers the period from Homeric times (1000 B.C.) to late Roman times (A.D. 400). A definitive work on the topic, ThesCRA is the culmination of many years of research by scholars from across the United States and Europe and throughout the Mediterranean world. Each of their texts-either in English, French, German, or Italian-is followed by a catalogue entry listing the epigraphical and literary sources cited and referencing ancient iconographical documents related to the topic. Many of these iconographical items are depicted either in line drawings in the texts or in the plate sections of each volume. On completion, ThesCRA will comprise five volumes, a book of abbreviations, and an index volume. The volumes are arranged thematically. The first three deal with dynamic elements of ancient cults, such as cultic ritual and practice, while the last two are devoted to static elements, such as cult places and their personnel. The first two volumes, available in February 2005, discuss processions, sacrifices, libations, fumigations, and dedications (Volume I); and purification, consecration, initiation, heroization, apotheosis, banquets, dance, music, and rites and activities related to cult images (Volume II). Volume III, slated for August of 2005, will deal with divination; prayers and gestures of prayer; gestures and acts of veneration; supplication; asylum; oaths; magic; curses; and desecration. Volumes IV and V, along with the Index, are scheduled for publication in February 2006.
This latest volume in the TRAC Themes in Theoretical Roman Archaeology series takes up posthuman theoretical perspectives to interpret Roman material culture. These perspectives provide novel and compelling ways of grappling with theoretical problems in Roman archaeology producing new knowledge and questions about the complex relationships and interactions between humans and non-humans in Roman culture and society. Posthumanism constitutes a multitude of theoretical positions characterised by common critiques of anthropocentrism and human exceptionalism. In part, they react to the dominance of the linguistic turn in humanistic sciences. These positions do not exclude “the human”, but instead stress the mutual relationship between matter and discourse. Moreover, they consider the agency of “non-humans”, e.g., animals, material culture, landscapes, climate, and ideas, their entanglement with humans, and the situated nature of research. Posthumanism has had substantial impacts in several fields (including critical studies, archaeology, feminist studies, even politics) but have not yet emerged in any fulsome way in Classical Studies and Classical Archaeology. This is the first volume on these themes in Roman Archaeology, aimed at providing valuable perspectives into Roman myth, art and material culture, displacing and complicating notions of human exceptionalism and individualist subjectivity. Contributions consider non-human agencies, particularly animal, material, environmental, and divine agencies, critiques of binary oppositions and gender roles, and the Anthropocene. Ultimately, the papers stress that humans and non-humans are entangled and imbricated in larger systems: we are all post-human.
The Danubian provinces represent one of the largest macro-units within the Roman Empire, with a large and rich heritage of Roman material evidence. Although the notion itself is a modern 18th-century creation, this region represents a unique area, where the dominant, pre-Roman cultures (Celtic, Illyrian, Hellenistic, Thracian) are interconnected within the new administrative, economic and cultural units of Roman cities, provinces and extra-provincial networks. This book presents the material evidence of Roman religion in the Danubian provinces through a new, paradigmatic methodology, focusing not only on the traditional urban and provincial units of the Roman Empire, but on a new space taxonomy. Roman religion and its sacralized places are presented in macro-, meso- and micro-spaces of a dynamic empire, which shaped Roman religion in the 1st-3rd centuries AD and created a large number of religious glocalizations and appropriations in Raetia, Noricum, Pannonia Superior, Pannonia Inferior, Moesia Superior, Moesia Inferior and Dacia. Combining the methodological approaches of Roman provincial archaeology and religious studies, this work intends to provoke a dialogue between disciplines rarely used together in central-east Europe and beyond. The material evidence of Roman religion is interpreted here as a dynamic agent in religious communication, shaped by macro-spaces, extra-provincial routes, commercial networks, but also by the formation and constant dynamics of small group religions interconnected within this region through human and material mobilities. The book will also present for the first time a comprehensive list of sacralized spaces and divinities in the Danubian provinces.