The Cambridge Companion to Ancient Mediterranean Religions by Barbette Stanley Spaeth

By Barbette Stanley Spaeth

In antiquity, the Mediterranean quarter was once associated via sea and land routes that facilitated the unfold of non secular ideals and practices one of the civilizations of the traditional global. The Cambridge better half to historic Mediterranean Religions presents an creation to the key religions of this zone and explores present learn concerning the similarities and alterations between them. The interval coated is from the prehistoric interval to overdue antiquity, that's, ca. 4000 BCE to six hundred CE. 9 essays delivering an summary of the features and old advancements of the key religions of the area, together with these of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Syria-Canaan, Israel, Anatolia, Iran, Greece, Rome, and early Christianity. 5 essays facing key subject matters in present learn on those religions, together with violence, id, the physique, gender, and visuality, taking an explicitly comparative strategy and offering fresh theoretical and methodological advances in modern scholarship.

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In the Old and Middle Kingdoms, elite women appear with the title Priestess of Hathor. ” By the New Kingdom, few women had priestly titles, but many elite women, some of them of the royal house, served as priestesssingers whose music was believed to placate and amuse the god(s). ” These women are shown primarily officiating at a variety of rituals, but their actual duties are unclear. 23 In the Third Intermediate period, the God’s Wives of Amun were princesses who acted as the virtual rulers of Thebes, controlling huge economic resources.

Divinity, as personhood, was primarily relational, deined by the functions and roles given in relation to others. 25 As told in succession myths26 and cultic commentaries27 gods could still be killed; their deaths, however, did not signify complete annihilation; rather, divine death functioned as a cultural strategy to relegate particular gods to a minor position or, in a process of transformation, their lesh and blood served to create humankind (Atrahasis Myth and Creation Epic Enuma Elish). As the Mesopotamian concept of the divine was patterned after a sociomorphic understanding of the world, gods were part of a social network, independent of their form or appearance, whether anthropomorphic, theriomorphic, or hybrid.

Pinch 1993 is the authority on votive offerings. For Roman religion in Egypt, a topic largely outside this discussion, see Frankfurter 1998 and Dunand and Zivie-Coche 2004. For connections between Maat and the Greek Metis see Faraone and Teeter 2004. The impact of Egyptian religion and culture on the West into modern days is appraised by Hornung 2001. The many works of E. A. W. Budge should be avoided. Chronology Note: All dates prior to 664 BCE are approximate. 4000–3100 BCE 3100–2705 BCE PRE-DYNASTIC PERIOD EARLY DYNASTIC PERIOD or ARCHAIC PERIOD (Dynasties 1–2) Burials furnished with offerings attest to the belief in life after death.

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