Household and Family Religion in Antiquity

Household and Family Religion in Antiquity

Household and Family Religion in Antiquity

Household and Family Religion in Antiquity

Synopsis

The first book to explore the religious dimensions of the family and the household in ancient Mediterranean and West Asian antiquity.
  • Advances our understanding of household and familial religion, as opposed to state-sponsored or civic temple cults
  • Reconstructs domestic and family religious practices in Egypt, Greece, Rome, Israel, Mesopotamia, Ugarit, Emar, and Philistia
  • Explores many household rituals, such as providing for ancestral spirits, and petitioning of a household's patron deities or of spirits associated with the house itself
  • Examines lifecycle rituals - from pregnancy and birth to maturity, old age, death, and beyond
  • Looks at religious practices relating to the household both within the home itself and other spaces, such as at extramural tombs and local sanctuaries

Excerpt

The application of the comparative approach to the ancient world at large has been rare. The new series of which this is the second volume intends to fill this gap. It will pursue important social, political, religious, economic, and intellectual issues through a wide range of ancient societies. “Ancient” will here be understood broadly, encompassing not only societies that are “ancient” within the traditional chronological framework of c. 3000 BCE to c. 600 CE in East, South, and West Asia, the Mediterranean, and Europe, but also later ones that are structurally “ancient” or “early,” such as those in pre-modern Japan or in Meso- and South America before the Spanish Conquest. By engaging in comparative studies of the ancient world on a truly global scale, this series will throw light not only on common patterns and marked differences but also illustrate the remarkable variety of responses humankind developed to meet common challenges. Focusing, as it does, on periods that are far removed from our own time and in which modern identities are less immediately engaged, the series will contribute to enhancing our understanding and appreciation of differences among cultures of various traditions and backgrounds. Not least, it will thus illuminate the continuing relevance of the study of the ancient world in helping us to cope with problems of our own multicultural world.

Topics to be dealt with in future volumes include geography, ethnography, and perspectives of the world; recording the past and writing history; and the preservation and transformation of the past in oral poetic traditions.

Kurt A. Raaflaub . . .

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