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BIC Excellence Award

Gods, Objects, and Ritual Practice in Ancient Mediterranean Religion

By Sandra Blakely

Gods, Objects, and Ritual Practice in Ancient Mediterranean Religion
Paperback, 250 pages £37.00
Published: 2017
ISBN: 9781937040796
Format: 229mm x 153mm
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Subjects: Anthropology, Cultural and Social Studies, Lockwood Press, Philosophy and Religion

The study of material culture has helped create a common meeting ground for scholars seeking to integrate images, sites, texts and implements in their approach to religion in the ancient Mediterranean.

This book explores the productivity of these approaches, with case studies from Israel, Athens, Rome, Sicily and North Africa. The results foreground the capacity of material approaches to cast light on the cultural creation of the sacred through the integration of rhetorical, material, and iconographic means.

The discussion opens more nuanced pathways to the uses of text in the study of material evidence, and highlights the potential for material objects to bring political and ethnic boundaries into the sacred realm.



Abbreviations     vii

Contributors       xvii

1        Introduction: Object, Image and Text: Materiality and Ritual Practice in the Ancient Mediterranean - Sandra Blakely      

Section 1. From Image to Context: Iconography and Polysemnity

2       Divine Twins or Saintly Twins: The Dioscuri in an Early Christian Context - Annawies van den Hoek  

3       Altars, Astragaloi, Achilles: Picturing Divination on Athenian Vases - Sheramy D. Bundrick    

4       Incarnating the Aurea Aetas: Theomorphic Rhetoric and the Portraits of Nero - Eric Varner       

Section 2. Reading the Gods: Texts and Gifts

5       No More Than One Candle, Torch, or Wreath: Private Citizens and the Commemoration of L. Caesar at Pisa - J. Bert Lott      

6       The Cadence of the Language of Magic in Greek Curse Tablets and First Corinthians - Jill E. Marshall    

7       Sacred Objects, Material Value, and Invective in Cicero’s Verrines II 4 - Isabel Köster                   

Section 3. Implements and Images

8       Local Production and Domestic Ritual Use of Small Rectangular Incense Altars: A Petrographic Provenience Analysis and Examination of Craftsmanship of the Tell Halif Incense Altars - Seung Ho Bang, Oded Borowski, Kook Young Yoon, Yuval Goren       


9       Judaean Pillar Figurines and the Making of Female Piety in Ancient Israelite Religion - Erin Darby         

10     Priestesses in Action: Ritual Instruments Employed by Roman Women - Meghan J. DiLuzio

11      Rhetoric, Repetition, and Identity in the Frieze of Sacred Objects on the Temple of Divus Vespasian and Divus Titus - Susan Ludi Blevins         

Section 4. Sites and Structures: Gods, Men, and Cultural Identities

12     Channeling Identity: The Fountain of Glauke in Corinth and Jacob’s Well in John 4 - Eric Moore       

13     “In This Holy Place”: Incubation at Hot Springs in Roman and Late Antique Palestine - Megan S. Nutzman               

14     Gods, Graves, and Extratextual Rituals in Archaic Colonial Sicily - Lela M. Urquhart   

Subject Index    

Ancient Sources Index


Sandra Blakely has a PhD in Classics and Anthropology from the University of Southern California, and is currently an associate professor of Classics at Emory University.  Her research focusses on religion, mobility, historiography, and the anthropology of the ancient world. Fellowships include the Getty Research Institute, the American School of Classical Studies at Athens and the Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem.


Publication Details:

 Paperback , 250 pages
 229mm x 153mm

BIC Code:
  HIS002000, HIS026000, REL000000, REL033000, SOC002000
 Lockwood Press


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