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Power, Politics and the Cults of Isis

Proceedings of the Vth International Conference of Isis Studies, Boulogne-sur-Mer, October 13-15, 2011

Laurent Bricault, Michuel John Versluis
05 January 2015

Published by Brill Academic Publishers in the renowned, peer-reviewed series Religions in Graeco Roman World (RGRW), Power, politics and the cults of Isis is one of the results of the VIDI project ‘Cultural innovation in a globalising society. Egypt in the Roman world' ( Dr. M.J. Versluys).

Intimate relations existed in the Hellenistic and Roman world 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 an institutionalised and frequently used religious option. Ranging from the early Ptolemies and Seleucids to late Antiquity, the case studies illustrate how symbolic meaning was made with the cults of Isis by kings, emperors, cities and elites alike.

As an introduction to this (chronological) overview, three articles theoretically introduce the theme of Isis and the longue durée. Arguing for an understanding of Isis between the local and the global in the ancient Mediterranean and above all in terms of connectivity, the introduction simultaneously explores a new approach towards concepts like ruler cult and Religionspolitik.

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