Historical and Religious Memory in the Ancient World

Hardcover | April 30, 2012

EditorBeate Dignas, R. R. R. Smith

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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 intersectswith 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 andmaterial 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 varietyof 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 focuseson 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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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 intersectswith and shapes religious traditions and cult...

Beate Dignas is Fellow and Tutor in Ancient History at Somerville College and Lecturer in Ancient History at Trinity College, Oxford University. 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.

other books by Beate Dignas

Format:HardcoverDimensions:360 pages, 8.5 × 5.43 × 0.98 inPublished:April 30, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199572062

ISBN - 13:9780199572069

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Table of Contents

PrefaceList of IllustrationsList of contributors1. Beate Dignas and R.R.R. Smith: IntroductionPart I: Religious pasts and religious present2. Simon Price: Memory and Ancient Greece3. John North: Sappho in the Underground4. Martin Goodman: Memory and its uses in Judaism and Christianity in the early Roman empire: the portrayal of Abraham5. William van Andringa: Statues in the temples of Pompeii: Combinations of gods, local definition of cults, and the Memory of the CityPart II: Defining religious identity6. Beate Dignas: Rituals and the construction of identity in Attalid Pergamon7. Richard Gordon: Memory and identity in the Graeco-Roman cults of Isis8. John Scheid: Epigraphy and ritual: the vow of the legionary from Sulmo9. Lucia Nixon: Building Memory: The role of sacred structures in Sphakia and CretePart III : Commemorating and erasing the past10. David Levene: You shall blot out the memory of Amalek : Roman historians on remembering to forget11. Aude Busine: The discovery of old inscriptions in Antiquity and the legitimation of new cults12. Peter Thonemann: Abercius of Hierapolis: Christianisation and social memory in Late Antique Asia Minor13. R.R.R. Smith: Defacing the gods at Aphrodisias