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. Nine essays providing 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. Five essays dealing 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.
About the Author
Barbette Stanley Spaeth is Associate Professor of Classical Studies and Co-Director of the Institute for Pilgrimage Studies at the College of William and Mary. Her specialty is Greek and Roman religion. She is author of The Roman Goddess (1996) and of articles in Daughters of Hecate: Women and Magic in the Ancient World (forthcoming), Rome and Religion: A Cross-Disciplinary Dialogue on the Imperial Cult (2011) and Sub Imagine Somni: Nighttime Phenomena in Greco-Roman Culture (2010). Her work has been published in American Journal of Archaeology, Hesperia, Historia and Classical World. Professor Spaeth has held fellowships at the American School of Classical Studies in Athens and the American Academy in Rome. She has received grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Loeb Classical Library Foundation, Center for Hellenic Studies and the Memoria Romana Project of the Max-Planck Society. She is co-founder and past president of the Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions, as well as past president of the Alumni/ae Association of the American School of Classical Studies, Athens.
Table of Contents1. Egypt Emily Teeter; 2. Mesopotamia Beate Pongratz-Leisten; 3. Syria-Canaan Shawna Dolansky; 4. Israel Mayer Gruber; 5. Anatolia Billie Jean Collins; 6. Iran William Malandra; 7. Greece Jennifer Larson; 8. Rome Celia Schultz; 9. Early Christianity H. Gregory Snyder; 10. Violence Bruce Lincoln; 11. Identity Kimberly Stratton; 12. The body Elizabeth A. Castelli; 13. Gender Ross Kraemer; 14. Visuality Robin Jensen.