By Sarah Iles Johnston
spiritual ideals and practices, which permeated all elements of existence in antiquity, traveled well-worn routes during the Mediterranean: itinerant charismatic practitioners travelling from position to put peddled their abilities as healers, purifiers, cursers, and initiators; and vessels adorned with illustrations of myths traveled with them. New gods encountered in overseas lands through retailers and conquerors have been occasionally taken domestic to be tailored and followed. This choice of essays via a unique overseas workforce of students, drawn from the groundbreaking reference paintings Religion within the historic World, bargains an expansive, comparative viewpoint in this advanced non secular global.
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These ritual and architectural forms are almost ubiquitous elements of religion—this must be the reason that a foreigner could recognize them and understand their basic message. When thus, on this very basic level, ritual might have been understandable throughout human societies, the question begins to be much more complex once we look into transfer and assimilation, and not only because of the problem of attestation. While one’s own gods certainly were part of what deﬁned one’s identity—as was one’s city, one’s language, and one’s family—the rituals in which one participated and their very speciﬁc forms, which were learned from early youth, deﬁned identity even more so.
17 quotes the ﬁrst verse) In one of these oracles, Iao, the god of the Jews, is proclaimed to be the god of time (Olam-Aion), appearing as Hades in winter, Zeus in springtime, Helios in summer, and “Habros Iao” in autumn. 20; see Peterson 1926: 243–44; Hengel 1969: 476–77; and the inscription Heîs Zeùs Sérapis Iaó [CIL 2 suppl. 5665 = Dunand 1975: 170]). These oracles and predications manifest a quest for the sole and supreme divine principle beyond the innumerable multitude of speciﬁc deities.
Momigliano, Arnaldo. ” In Momigliano, On Pagans, Jews, and Christians. : Wesleyan University Press, 1987. Peterson, E. Heis Theos: Epigraphische, formgeschichtliche und religionsgeschichtliche Untersuchungen. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1926. ———. Monotheismus als politisches Problem. Leipzig: Hegner, 1935. ———. Theologische Traktate. Munich: Kösel, 1951. Porter, Barbara Nevling, ed. One God or Many? Concepts of Divinity in the Ancient World. [Chebeague, Maine:] Casco Bay Assyriological Institute, 2000.
Ancient Religions by Sarah Iles Johnston