The Lives and Worship of Idols from the Iron Age to Late Antiquity
Author: Philip Kiernan
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
In this book, Philip Kiernan explores how cult images functioned in Roman temples from the Iron Age to Late Antiquity in the Roman west. He demonstrates how and why a temple's idols, were more important to ritual than other images such as votive offerings and decorative sculpture. These idols were seen by many to be divine and possessed of agency. They were, thus, the primary focus of worship. Aided by cross-cultural comparative material, Kiernan's study brings a biographical approach to explore the 'lives' of idols and cult images - how they were created, housed in temples, used and worshipped, and eventually destroyed or buried. He also shows how the status of cult images could change, how new idols and other cult images were being continuously created, and how, in each phase of their lives, we find evidence for the significant power of idols.
Public sculptures were the "mass media" of the Roman world. They populated urban centers throughout the empire, serving as a "plastic language" that communicated political, religious, and social messages. This book brings together twenty-eight experts who otherwise rarely convene: text-based scholars of the Greco-Roman, Jewish, and Christian realms from the fields of classics, history, and religion and specialists in the artistic traditions of Greece and Rome as well as art historians and archaeologists. Utilizing the full spectrum of ancient sources, the book examines the multiple, at times even contradictory, meanings and functions that statues served within the complex world of the Roman Near East. Moreover, it situates the discussion of sculpture in the broader context of antiquity in order to reevaluate long-held scholarly consensuses on such ideas as the essence of Hellenism (the culture that emerged from the encounter of Greco-Romans with the Near East) and the everlasting "conflict" among paganism, Christianity, and Judaism.
From one of the world's leading authorities on the subject, an innovative and comprehensive account of religion in the ancient Roman and Mediterranean world In this ambitious and authoritative book, Jörg Rüpke provides a comprehensive and strikingly original narrative history of ancient Roman and Mediterranean religion over more than a millennium—from the late Bronze Age through the Roman imperial period and up to late antiquity. While focused primarily on the city of Rome, Pantheon fully integrates the many religious traditions found in the Mediterranean world, including Judaism and Christianity. This generously illustrated book is also distinguished by its unique emphasis on lived religion, a perspective that stresses how individuals’ experiences and practices transform religion into something different from its official form. The result is a radically new picture of both Roman religion and a crucial period in Western religion—one that influenced Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and even the modern idea of religion itself. Drawing on a vast range of literary and archaeological evidence, Pantheon shows how Roman religion shaped and was shaped by its changing historical contexts from the ninth century BCE to the fourth century CE. Because religion was not a distinct sphere in the Roman world, the book treats religion as inseparable from political, social, economic, and cultural developments. The narrative emphasizes the diversity of Roman religion; offers a new view of central concepts such as “temple,” “altar,” and “votive”; reassesses the gendering of religious practices; and much more. Throughout, Pantheon draws on the insights of modern religious studies, but without “modernizing” ancient religion. With its unprecedented scope and innovative approach, Pantheon is an unparalleled account of ancient Roman and Mediterranean religion.
Concepts and Images of Authority in Paganism and Early Christianity before the Age of Cyprian
Author: Revd Allen Brent
Using a contra-cultural model of social interaction, this book examines the interaction between Pagan and early Christian constructions of social order focussing on the Imperial Cult as it developed, together with shared metaphysical assumptions, pari passu with Church Order.
The Roman Mithras Cult: A Cognitive Approach is the first full cognitive history of an ancient religion. In this groundbreaking book on one of the most intriguing and mysterious ancient religions, Roger Beck and Olympia Panagiotidou show how cognitive historiography can supplement our historical knowledge and deepen our understanding of past cultural phenomenon. The cult of the sun god Mithras, which spread widely across the Greco-Roman world at the same time as other 'mystery cults' and Christianity, offered to its devotees certain images and assumptions about reality. Initiation into the mysteries of Mithras and participation in the life of the cult significantly affected and transformed the ways in which the initiated perceived themselves, the world, and their position within it. The cult's major ideas were conveyed mainly through its major symbolic complexes. The ancient written testimonies and other records are not adequate to establish a definitive reconstruction of Mithraic theologies and the meaning of its complex symbolic structures. Filling this gap, The Roman Mithras Cult: A Cognitive Approach identifies the cognitive and psychological processes which took place in the minds and bodies of the Mithraists during their initiation and participation in the mysteries, enabling the perception, apprehension, and integration of the essential images and assumptions of the cult in its worldview system.
Outlines Syria's pivotal role in Roman history and the conflicts between the empire and its two eastern neighbors: the Parthians and Sasanians. This book discusses the consequences of empire in Syria: the provinces, 'client' kingdoms and city-states, the impact of Rome on the calendars and the economy, and the adoption of Christianity.
Papers from a Conference Held at the Accademia Di Danimarca in Collaboration with the Bibliotheca Hertziana (Max-Planck-Institut Für Kunstgeschichte), Rome, 31 May - 2 June 2003
Author: Erik Thunø
Publisher: L'Erma di Bretschneider
The present volume results from the conference L'immagine miracolosa nella cultura tardomedievale e rinascimentale, which was held at the Danish Academy in Rome, 31 May - 2 June 2002. The aim of the conference was to shed light on a body of visual material, often neglected by art history, and thus to call attention to a new field of study in the visual arts of the Late Middle Ages and the Renaissance.