In the Hellenistic and Roman world intimate relations existed between those holding power and the cults of Isis. This book is the first to chart these various appropriations over time within a comparative perspective. Ten carefully selected case studies show that “the Egyptian gods” were no exotic outsiders to the Hellenistic and Roman Mediterranean, but constituted a well institutionalised and frequently used religious option. Ranging from the early Ptolemies and Seleucids to late Antiquity, the case studies illustrate how much symbolic meaning was made with the cults of Isis by kings, emperors, cities and elites. Three articles introduce the theme of Isis and the longue durée theoretically, simultaneously exploring a new approach towards concepts like ruler cult and Religionspolitik.
Laurent Bricaultholds a PhD in Egyptology from the Sorbonne and is Professor of Roman history at Universite de Toulouse Le Mirail.
Miguel John Versluysholds a PhD in Classical Archaeology from Leiden University and is associate Professor at its Faculty of Archaeology.
They are both well known for their many publications on Isis studies and cultural transferences concerning Egypt and the Hellenistic and Roman world. Their three previous volumes in this domain - Nile into Tiber. Egypt in the Roman world (RGRW 159) from 2007, Isis on the Nile. Egyptian gods in Hellenistic and Roman Egypt (RGRW 171) from 2010 and Egyptian gods in the Hellenistic and Roman Mediterranean: Image and reality between local and global (MYTHOS supplement 3) from 2012 – have reinvigorated (theoretical) debates within the field of Isis studies. It is hoped that the present volume not only continues that development, but also makes the cults of Isis part of wider discussions concerning the (religious) history and archaeology of the ancient world.
Contributors: Julien Aliquot (Lyon), Laurent Bricault (Toulouse), Giuseppina Capriotti Vittozzi (Rome), Valentino Gasparini (Erfurt), Bernard Legras (Paris), John Ma (Oxford), Paraskevi Martzavou (Oxford), Frederick G. Naerebout (Leiden), Jean-Louis Podvin (Boulogne-sur-Mer), Christian-Georges Schwentzel (Valenciennes), Miguel John Versluys (Leiden), Richard Veymiers (Liège), Greg Woolf (St-Andrews).