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Revisiting the Religious Life of Palmyra

R. Raja (ed.)
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XIV+212 p., 135 b/w ill., 216 x 280 mm, 2019
ISBN: 978-2-503-57635-0
Languages: English, French
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Retail price: EUR 90,00 excl. tax
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Revisiting the Religious Life of Palmyra is the first volume ever bringing together the core group of scholars who have worked on religion and religious practice in Palmyra.

The oasis city of Palmyra in the Syrian Desert has long been the focus of scholarly attention, both as a major cultural locus at the heart of the ancient world, active in trade and politics, and as an important local centre of religion, attested through the archaeology and historical sources related to the site. In this volume, which is the outcome of a conference organized within the framework of the Palmyra Portrait Project, the latest research from scholars working on Palmyra is drawn together to offer new insights into both the city’s religious life and its wider implications for our understanding of religious life in the Near East in general in the first three centuries CE. Incorporating analyses and discussions of archaeological, epigraphic, and literary sources that shed light on Palmyrene religion, the contributions gathered here reassess and discuss the beliefs and practices that were followed in the city, assess the different cults that existed, and present new insights into the development and function of the city’s religious communities and spaces. Together, these chapters provide a vital update to our understanding of how people lived and worshipped in this city, which remains crucial to the broader understanding of the role of religion and religious practices in urban contexts in antiquity.

Table of Contents

Revisiting the Religious Life of Palmyra: Or Why It Still Matters to Focus on Ancient Religious Life within the Context of a Single Site — RUBINA RAJA

Patterns of Worship at Palmyra: Reflections on Methods and Approaches — TED KAIZER

Dieux grecs à Palmyre: L’ambigüité d’un concept — MAURICE SARTRE

Images as Windows on the Religious Life of Palmyra — LUCINDA DIRVEN

Images of Individual Devotion in Palmyrene Sources — ELEONORA CUSSINI

Reconsidering the dorsalium or ‘Curtain of Death’ in Palmyrene Funerary Sculpture: Significance and Interpretations in Light of the Palmyra Portrait Project Corpus — RUBINA RAJA

The Significance of the orans Pose in Palmyrene Art — MAURA HEYN

‘Les dieux armés’ in Palmyra: Religious, Iconographic, Ethnic, and Historic Considerations — TOMMASO GNOLI


Foreigners and Outsiders:The Religious Life of Palmyra Seen from Outside — JEAN-BAPTISTE YON

Portable Religion and the Palmyrene Diaspora — EIVIND HELDAAS SELAND

A Palmyrene Contribution to Eastern Christianity: The Name of King Gondophares — NATHANAEL ANDRADE

Interest Classification:
Religion (including History of Religion) & Theology
Comparative religion & religions not otherwise listed
Ancient & Oriental religions (excl. Judaism & offshoots)
Greek & Roman religions
Classics, Ancient History, Oriental Studies
Ancient history & archaeology: Africa & Asia
Egypt & North Africa
Palestine & Near East
Mesopotamia & Iranian plateau (Middle East)

This publication is also distributed by: ISD, Marston
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