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Religious Convergence in the Ancient Mediterranean

Edited by Sandra Blakely and Billie Jean Collins


This volume brings together scholars in religion, archaeology, philology, and history to explore case studies and theoretical models of converging religions. The twenty-four essays offered in this volume, which derive from Hittite, Cilician, Lydian, Phoenician, Greek, and Roman cultural settings, focus on encounters at the boundaries of cultures, landscapes, chronologies, social class and status, the imaginary, and the materially operative. Broad patterns ultimately emerge that reach across these boundaries, and suggest the state of the question on the study of convergence, and the potential fruitfulness for comparative and interdisciplinary studies as models continue to evolve. 



"The reader will find a feast of crisscrossing themes, sites, divinities, types of artifacts, ritual actions, and modes of contact throughout the volume, and various overarching themes will become salient for different readers.… Beyond the insights gained from each case-study, this stimulating and rich volume (with plenty of illustrations and two indexes) successfully showcases a wide range of mechanisms by which religious communities adapted to change and contact. The editors and authors should be congratulated for keeping the complex nature of these convergences visible in our understanding of cult and religion (paraphrasing Ch. 4, Morris, p. 77)."—Carolina Lopez-Ruiz, The Ohio State University, in Bryn Mawr Classical Review


"The general quality of the papers is high, although the wide range of topics and methodologies presented means that the volume has a rather disjointed character. Yet scholars working on the individual topics addressed in these papers are likely to find much of interest here. Specialists in Sicily and, in general, anyone seeking to learn more about the island’s diverse population and cultural traditions will especially benefit from this volume, as will scholars in Anatolian studies. Both editors are to be applauded for their prompt publication and careful work in bringing this collection of papers together." —Lynn E. Roller, Department of Art and Art History, University of California, Davis, in American Journal of Archaeology 125.1 (2021)

Religious Convergence in the Ancient Mediterranean

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    SAMR 2

    600 pages

    6 x 9 inches

    978-1-948488-16-7 (paper)

    978-1-948488-17-4 (PDF)

    November 2019

  • Table of Contents



    Introduction Sandra Blakely


    Section 1. Site


    1 Guardian Goddess of the Surf-Beaten Shore: The Influence of 
Mariners on Sanctuaries of Aphrodite in Magna Graecia Amelia R. Brown and Rebecca Smith

    2 Lilibeo e i suoi culti: Nuovi esempi dalla ricerca archeologica Rossella Giglio

    3 Large Temples as Cultural Banners in Western Sicily Margaret M. Miles

    4 Close Encounters on Sicily: Molech, Meilichios, and Religious Convergence at Selinus Sarah Morris

    5 The Temple of Astarte “Aglaia” at Motya and Its Cultural Significance in the Mediterranean Realm Lorenzo Nigro

    6 Venere del Mare: Testimonianze del culto nel trapanese Francesca Oliveri


    Section 2. Text


    7 Hittite Prayers and Their Mesopotamian Models Elisabeth Rieken

    8 Mythological Passages in Hittite Rituals Susanne Görke

    9 Religious Convergence in Hittite Anatolia: The Case of Kizzuwatna Amir Gilan

    10 The Arzawa Rituals and Religious Production in Hattusa Billie Jean Collins

    11 Survival of “Popular” Mythology: From Hittite Mountain Man to Phrygian Mountain Mother Mary R. Bachvarova

    12 Native Religious Traditions from a Lydian Perspective Annick Payne


    Section 3. Object


    13 Funerary Practices and Rituals on Sicily from the Neolithic to the Bronze Age (Sixth through Second Millennia BCE) 
Sebastiano Tusa

    14 The Convergence of Guardian Statues in the Ancient World: Top-Down or Bottom-Up? 
Christopher Athanasious Faraone

    15 Across Traditions and beyond Boundaries: The Masks of Carthage Adriano Orsingher

    16 Greek Coins, Punic People: An Iconographic Analysis of the Punic Coinage of Sicily José Miguel Puebla Morón

    17 Ritual Practices, Food Offerings, and Animal Sacrifices: Votive Deposits in the Temple of the Kothon (Motya) Federica Spagnoli

    18 Romantic Receptions, or, The Aeginetan Sculptures’ Long March to Munich Louis A. Ruprecht Jr.


    Section 4. Action


    19 From Zalpuwa to Brauron: Hittite-Greek Religious Convergence on the Black Sea Ian Rutherford

    20 The Politics of Ritual Performance at Assyrian-Period Sam’al: Local and Imperial Identity in the Katumuwa Mortuary Stele from Zincirli Virginia R. Herrmann

    21 The Tonaia and Samian Identity Aaron Beck-Schachter

    22 Sparta and Persia: Rituals for Invading the Land of the Gods of Others Irene Polinskaya

    23 Using Your Head: Reading a “Local Style” Adapted for Foreign Ritual Kevin Dicus

    24 Roman Empire and Roman Emperor: Animal Sacrifice as an Instrument of Religious Convergence J. B. Rives


    Subject Index

    Ancient Sources Index

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