Epigraphy and Religion Revisited (ASGLE panel at the 2018 SCS in Boston)

The American Society of Greek and Latin Epigraphy (ASGLE) invites submissions for a panel at the 2018 Annual Meeting of the Society for Classical Studies in Boston.

The study of Greco-Roman religions has been one of the greatest, some even claim the greatest, beneficiaries of the advancement of epigraphy from the nineteenth century onwards. Knowledge of numerous aspects of ancient religion, from the genos of the Salaminioi in Athens to the Fratres Arvales in Rome, would have been either severely defective or outright non-existent had it not been for our epigraphic record. Nor has the contribution of epigraphy to religion taken the form of the accumulation of obscure scraps of information. Ancient magic, for instance, a phenomenon whose study has thrived in recent years, came into existence as an autonomous field within Classics almost exclusively thanks to the thousands of inscribed magic tablets that have been found all over the Greco-Roman world.

Fully cognizant of the enormous potential of epigraphy in this respect, the American Society of Greek and Latin Epigraphy devoted one of its first thematic panels to Epigraphy and Religion, back in 1999. Almost two decades later, ASGLE intends to revisit the topic in order to find out what the status quaestionis looks like for the current generation of scholars.

The main objective of this panel is to bring together papers that explore religious phenomena primarily from an epigraphic perspective. Detailed analyses of old texts and presentations of newly discovered documents are more than welcome, as are theoretically informed discussions of dossiers of inscriptions bearing on religion. Panelists are encouraged to engage with an array of diverse inscribed documents from decrees of religious content and dedications to boundary stones of shrines and sacred calendars. Topics that could be explored include, but are not limited to, cultic associations, cultic regulations, dedicatory formulas and practices, early Christianity, festivals, funerary rites, hero cult, imperial cult, Judaism, lived or personal religion, magic, polytheism, priesthoods, religious poetry, religious networks and communities, ruler cult, sacred finances, sacred space, syncretism, theophoric names.

Abstracts will be evaluated anonymously by members of the ASGLE Executive Committee and external readers, and should not be longer than 650 words (bibliography excluded): please follow the SCS “Guidelines for Authors of Abstracts.” All Greek should either be transliterated or employ a Unicode font. The Abstract should be sent electronically as a Word file, along with a PDF of the Submission Form, by March 3, 2017 to Nikolaos Papazarkadas at papazarkadas@berkeley.edu


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