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Historical and Religious Memory in the Ancient World

Historical and Religious Memory in the Ancient World

Hardback

Edited by Beate Dignas, Edited by R.R.R. Smith

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Hardback | 368 pages
  • Dimensions: 142mm x 218mm x 26mm | 640g
  • Publication date: 4 May 2012
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199572062
  • ISBN 13: 9780199572069
  • Illustrations note: 52 in text illustrations
  • Sales rank: 999,472

Product description

Historical and Religious Memory in the Ancient World examines how religious and historical memory was fashioned, distorted, preserved, or erased in ancient societies - and what wide-ranging effects these actions had on the historical process. The volume is interested in how memory intersects with and shapes religious traditions and cultural identities. Its twelve case studies explore different aspects of the memory layers that make up ancient history (social, religious, cultural), and looks at how these layers are represented and refracted in different contexts of the written and material remains of antiquity. The process has its beginnings in the dim pasts of ancient communities, and continues in the later Greek and Roman periods where our most articulate ancient evidence lies. It is a process that continues, in a different way, in contemporary scholarship which draws on selected evidence and a variety of contrasting representations. The three parts of the book vary the lens through which the impact of religious and cultural memory can be grasped. Part I looks at the commemoration of religious tradition in the context of cultural interaction - Greek, Roman, Jewish, and Christian. Part II focuses on how religious identities are defined and how homogenous-looking cultures engage in elaborate selective dialogue with their own past. In Part III, contested versions of the past are interpreted in studies of Roman historiography and of religiously motivated behaviour in late antique Asia Minor. This interdisciplinary book highlights and celebrates the work of Simon Price, an important thinker and pioneer in this kind of wider historical research in ancient cultures and religions.

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Author information

R. R. R. Smith is Lincoln Professor of Classical Archaeology and Art at Oxford University, and was elected Fellow of the British Academy in 2010.

Review quote

Wide-ranging, yet tightly interrelated, the papers collected in this volume are a fi tting tribute to the scholarship of Dr Simon Price David Saunders, Journal of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford

Table of contents

PREFACE ; LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS ; LIST OF CONTRIBUTORS ; 1. Introduction ; PART I: RELIGIOUS PASTS AND RELIGIOUS PRESENT ; 2. Memory and Ancient Greece ; 3. Sappho in the Underground ; 4. Memory and its uses in Judaism and Christianity in the early Roman empire: the portrayal of Abraham ; 5. Statues in the temples of Pompeii: Combinations of gods, local definition of cults, and the Memory of the City ; PART II: DEFINING RELIGIOUS IDENTITY ; 6. Rituals and the construction of identity in Attalid Pergamon ; 7. Memory and identity in the Graeco-Roman cults of Isis ; 8. Epigraphy and ritual: the vow of the legionary from Sulmo ; 9. Building Memory: The role of sacred structures in Sphakia and Crete ; PART III : COMMEMORATING AND ERASING THE PAST ; 10. You shall blot out the memory of Amalek : Roman historians on remembering to forget ; 11. The discovery of old inscriptions in Antiquity and the legitimation of new cults ; 12. Abercius of Hierapolis: Christianisation and social memory in Late Antique Asia Minor ; 13. Defacing the gods at Aphrodisias