Multiple Meanings in the Sanctuary of the Magna Mater at Ostia
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This paper explores how inscribed objects set up in the sanctuary of the Magna Mater at Ostia expressed the multiple meanings of the cult activities that took place there. It examines how this space hosted a variety of religious experiences that involved individuals, groups, the city, and the state, and how inscriptions can provide us with a glimpse of this complex shifting scene. Whilst some inscribed dedications expressed personal relationships between worshippers and deity, other inscriptions showed the involvement of the town's authorities in regulating the cult, and others again celebrated sacrifices made on behalf of the Roman state. The inscriptions associated with the sanctuary offer an unusual case study in allowing us to trace the multi-layered nature of the religious worship that took place in a single location.