Entangled Worlds: Religious Confluences between East and West in the Roman Empire

The Cults of Isis, Mithras, and Jupiter Dolichenus
Ed. by Svenja Nagel, Joachim Friedrich Quack, and Christian Witschel

[Verwobene Welten: Religiöse Zusammenflüsse zwischen Ost und West im Römischen Reich. Die Kulte von Isis, Mithras und Iupiter Dolichenus.]

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Published in English.
Did the so-called 'oriental cults' form a coherent group? And can they be called 'oriental' at all? This collective volume, originating from an interdisciplinary conference at Heidelberg University, answers these questions and deals with their expansion in the Roman Empire, focusing on the three cults of Isis (and Osiris), Mithras and Jupiter Dolichenus.
This collective volume, originating from an interdisciplinary conference at Heidelberg University, deals with the expansion of the so-called oriental cults in the Roman Empire. The concept of 'oriental cults' itself has come under discussion in recent years because it has been questioned whether the cults in question really formed a coherent group and to what degree they might be called 'oriental' at all. This discussion is reflected throughout the papers of the volume which focus on the three cults of Isis (and Osiris), Mithras and Jupiter Dolichenus. Of special interest are the (alleged) origins of these cults in Egypt, Persia and Northern Syria, their expansion and adaptation within the Roman Empire (through some sort of 'religious flows'), their linguistic and visual expressions as well as the architecture and decoration of sanctuaries and the rituals connected with them.
Survey of contents
Joachim Friedrich Quack/Christian Witschel: Introduction: Religious Confluences in the Roman Empire; or: Why 'Oriental Cults' Again?

I. The Concept of 'Oriental Cults' in Recent Debates
Jaime Alvar: The 'Romanisation' of 'Oriental Cults' – Julietta Steinhauer: Osiris mystes und Isis orgia – Gab es 'Mysterien' der ägyptischen Gottheiten?

II. Origins and Diffusion of 'Oriental Cults' within the Imperium Romanum: The Case of Iuppiter Dolichenus
Engelbert Winter: The Cult of Iupiter Dolichenus and its Origins. The Sanctuary at Dülük Baba Tepesi near Doliche – Michael Bloemer: The Cult of Iupiter Dolichenus in the East – Mihály Loránd Dészpa: Jupiter Optimus Maximus Dolichenus and the Re-Imagination of the Empire: Religious Dynamics, Social Integration, and Imperial Narratives

III. Expanding from Egypt into Globality: The Case of Isis and Osiris
Ian Moyer: The Hymns of Isidorus at Medinet Madi: Global Currents in a Local Context – Svenja Nagel: One for All and All for One? Isis as una quae es(t) omnia in the Egyptian Temples of the Graeco-Roman Period – Martin Andreas Stadler: New Light on the Universality of Isis (pVienna D. 6297+6329+10101) – Joachim Friedrich Quack: Resting in Pieces and Integrating the Oikoumene. On the Mental Expansion of the Religious Landscape by Means of the Body Parts of Osiris

IV. The Visual Conceptualization of 'Oriental Gods'
Miguel John Versluys: Egypt as Part of the Roman Koine: a Study in Mnemohistory – Darius Frackowiak: Mithräische Bilderwelten. Eine Untersuchung zu ausgewählten ikonographischen Elementen im römischen Mithraskult – Ralf Krumeich: Zwischen Orient und Okzident. Bilder des Jupiter Dolichenus und der Juno Regina aus dem Osten und Westen des Römischen Reiches

V. Changing Forms of Sacred Space, Sanctuaries and Rituals
Kathrin Kleibl: An Audience in Search of a Theatre – The Staging of the Divine in Sanctuaries of Graeco-Egyptian Gods – Florence Saragoza: Exploring Walls: On Sacred Space in the Pompeian IseumAndreas Hensen: Spelaea et templa Mithrae. Unity and Diversity in Topography, Architecture and Design of Sanctuaries in the Cult of Mithras – Richard Gordon: From East to West: Staging Religious Experience in the Mithraic Temple

Svenja Nagel Born 1984; studied Egyptology and Classical Archaeology; 2015 PhD; since 2017 post-doc researcher at the Institute of Egyptology at the University of Heidelberg.

Joachim Friedrich Quack Geboren 1966; Studium von Ägyptologie, Semitistik, Biblischer Archäologie, Altorientalistik und Vor- und Frühgeschichte in Tübingen und Paris; 1990 Magister, 1993 Dr. phil., 2003 Habilitation an der FU Berlin; seit 2005 Professor für Ägyptologie an der Universität Heidelberg.

Christian Witschel Born 1966; studied ancient and modern history, prehistory and protohistory and classical archaeology; 1998 PhD; 2004 Habilitation; since 2005 full professor of ancient history at Heidelberg University.


The following reviews are known:

In: New Testament Abstracts — 61 (2017), S. 375
In: L'Antiquité Classique — 87 (2018), S. 479–481 (Francoise van Haeperen)
In: Journal of Roman Studies — 109 (2019), pp. 368–369 (Rubina Raja)
In: Mare Nostrum — 9 (2017), S. 131–135 (Giuseppe Santangelo)
In: Kleio-Historia — 12 (2020), pp. 155–157 (Mark Beumer)