the cambridge companion to ancient mediterranean religions
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Description Ebook: Provides an introduction to the major religions of the ancient Mediterranean and explores current research regarding the similarities and differences among them.
Description Ebook: In antiquity, the Mediterranean region was linked by sea and land routes that facilitated the spread of religious beliefs and practices among the civilizations of the ancient world. The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Mediterranean Religions provides an introduction to the major religions of this area and explores current research regarding the similarities and differences among them. The period covered is from the prehistoric period to late antiquity, that is, ca.4000 BCE to 600 CE. The first nine essays in the volume provide an overview of the characteristics and historical developments of the major religions of the region, including those of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Syria-Canaan, Israel, Anatolia, Iran, Greece, Rome and early Christianity. The last five essays deal with key topics in current research on these religions, including violence, identity, the body, gender and visuality, taking an explicitly comparative approach and presenting recent theoretical and methodological advances in contemporary scholarship.
Description Ebook: Ancient civilisations exercise an intense fascination for people the world over. This Handbook provides a vivid, scholarly, and eminently readable account of ancient cultures around the world, from China to India, the Middle East, Egypt, Europe, and the Americas. It examines the development of religious belief from the time of the Palaeolithic cave paintings to the Aztecs and Incas. Covering the whole of society not just the elite, the Handbook outlines the history of the different societies so that their religion and culture can be understood in context. Each chapter includes discussion of the broad field of relevant studies alerting the reader to wider debates on each subject. An international team of scholars convey their own deep enthusiasm for their subject and provide a unique study of both popular and 'official' religion in the ancient world.
Description Ebook: Interrogating the magic-gender connection / Kimberly B. Stratton -- From goddess to hag: the Greek and the Roman witch in classical literature / Barbette Stanley Spaeth -- "The most worthy of women is a mistress of magic": women as witches and ritual practitioners in I Enoch and rabbinic sources / Rebecca Lesses -- Gendering heavenly secrets?: women, angels, and the problem of misogyny and "magic" / Annette Yoshiko Reed -- Magic, abjection, and gender in Roman literature / Kimberly B. Stratton -- Magic accusations against women in Tacitus's Annals / Elizabeth Ann Pollard -- Drunken hags with amulets and prostitutes with erotic spells: the re-feminization of magic in late antique Christian homilies / Dayna S. Kelleres -- The bishop, the pope, and the prophetess: rival ritual experts in third century Cappadocia / Ayşe Tuzlak -- Living images of the divine: female theurgists in late antiquity / Nicola Denzley Lewis -- Sorceresses and sorcerers in early Christian tours of Hell / Kirsti Barrett Copeland -- The social context of women's erotic magic in antiquity / David Frankfurter -- Cheating women: curse tablets and Roman wives / Pauline Ripat -- Saffron, spices, and sorceresses: magic bowls and the Bavli / Yaakov Elman -- Victimology, or: how to deal with untimely death / Fritz Graf -- A Gospel amulet for Joannia (P.Oxy. VIII 1151) / Annemarie Luijendijk.
Description Ebook: The first chapters outline important themes and issues, including locations and their meanings, defining features of sanctuaries, the relationship between structure and ritual, political as well as religious functions, transformations over time, and the activities and experiences of the individual. These themes are linked to historic and specific sanctuaries, notably Olympia and Delphi, as examples of major international sanctuaries; Samos and Poseidonia, as urban sanctuaries in different parts of the Greek world; and the acropolis in Athens. Final chapters trace the consequences of the Roman conquest, the triumph of Christianity, as well as the impact of Turks, travelers, archaeologists, and tourists on these sites. Written in a clear style and richly illustrated, this 2005 book is intended for students and provides an accessible yet authoritative introduction to the material aspects of ancient Greek sanctuaries and the ritual activities which took place there. It includes a lengthy glossary and a chapter bibliography.
Description Ebook: "How new is atheism? Although adherents and opponents alike today present it as an invention of the European Enlightenment, when the forces of science and secularism broadly challenged those of faith, disbelief in the gods, in fact, originated in a far more remote past. In Battling the Gods, Tim Whitmarsh journeys into the ancient Mediterranean, a world almost unimaginably different from our own, to recover the stories and voices of those who first refused the divinities. Homer's epic poems of human striving, journeying, and passion were ancient Greece's only "sacred texts," but no ancient Greek thought twice about questioning or mocking his stories of the gods. Priests were functionaries rather than sources of moral or cosmological wisdom. The absence of centralized religious authority made for an extraordinary variety of perspectives on sacred matters, from the devotional to the atheos, or "godless." Whitmarsh explores this kaleidoscopic range of ideas about the gods, focusing on the colorful individuals who challenged their existence. Among these were some of the greatest ancient poets and philosophers and writers, as well as the less well known: Diagoras of Melos, perhaps the first self-professed atheist; Democritus, the first materialist; Socrates, executed for rejecting the gods of the Athenian state; Epicurus and his followers, who thought gods could not intervene in human affairs; the brilliantly mischievous satirist Lucian of Samosata. Before the revolutions of late antiquity, which saw the scriptural religions of Christianity and Islam enforced by imperial might, there were few constraints on belief. Everything changed, however, in the millennium between the appearance of the Homeric poems and Christianity's establishment as Rome's state religion in the fourth century AD. As successive Greco-Roman empires grew in size and complexity, and power was increasingly concentrated in central capitals, states sought to impose collective religious adherence, first to cults devoted to individual rulers, and ultimately to monotheism. In this new world, there was no room for outright disbelief: the label "atheist" was used now to demonize anyone who merely disagreed with the orthodoxy--and so it would remain for centuries."--Jacket.
Description Ebook: Interest in goddess worship is growing in contemporary society, as women seek models for feminine spirituality and wholeness. New cults are developing around ancient goddesses from many cultures, although their modern adherents often envision and interpret the goddesses very differently than their original worshippers did. In this thematic study of the Roman goddess Ceres, Barbette Spaeth explores the rich complexity of meanings and functions that grew up around the goddess from the prehistoric period to the Late Roman Empire. In particular, she examines two major concepts, fertility and liminality, and two social categories, the plebs and women, which were inextricably linked with Ceres in the Roman mind. Spaeth then analyzes an image of the goddess in a relief of the Ara Pacis, an important state monument of the Augustan period, showing how it incorporates all these varied roles and associations of Ceres. This interpretation represents a new contribution to art history. With its use of literary, epigraphical, numismatic, artistic, and archaeological evidence, The Roman Goddess Ceres presents a more encompassing view of the goddess than was previously available. It will be important reading for all students of Classics, as well as for a general audience interested in New Age, feminist, or pagan spirituality.
Description Ebook: Sacrifice is essential to all religions. Could there be a natural, even biological, reason? Why are sacrifice and numerous other religious rituals and concepts shared by so many different cultures? In this extraordinary book, one of the world's leading authorities on ancient religions explores the possibility of natural religion.
Description Ebook: This second edition examines all aspects of Roman history, and contains a new introduction, three new chapters and updated bibliographies.
Description Ebook: Covering the whole history of the order, but focusing overwhelmingly on the medieval period, this companion offers an accessible synthesis of current scholarship on the Cistercian order. After a preliminary section tracing the history of the order, and in particular its rapid expansion throughout medieval Europe, topics are addressed such as the order's structures and institutions, the material world they inhabited and constructed, including agriculture, art and architecture, and the spiritual and intellectual world of the order, in particular its founder, Bernard of Clairvaux. Themes of withdrawal and engagement with the world run throughout the book, but are not seen as mutually exclusive, nor as representing "ideals and reality".