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Ancestral Cults in Ancient Egypt  

Juan Carlos Moreno García

Published Online:
Aug 2016
The ancestor cult was a common feature of pharaonic society, aiming to provide social cohesion to extended families as well as close intermediaries with the netherworld. As active members ... More

Ancient Egyptian Religion  

Korshi Dosoo

Published Online:
Sep 2018
While ancient Egyptians had no conception of religion as a distinct sphere of life, modern scholars have identified a wide range of Egyptian beliefs and practices relating to the divine. ... More

Archaeology of Ancient Religions  

Caitlín E. Barrett

Published Online:
Aug 2016
Archaeology is essential to the cross-cultural study of religion. Archaeologists’ focus on material evidence enables them to investigate groups not represented or underrepresented in ... More

Art and Religion in Ancient Greece and Rome  

Robin Osborne and Caroline Vout

Published Online:
May 2016
One of the challenges shared across cultures and faiths is the intangible, ineffable nature of the divine. One problematic, yet theologically productive, solution to this problem is to ... More

Egypt in the Old Testament  

Christopher Hays

Published Online:
Jan 2018
The relationship between Egypt and ancient Israel and Judah was far more complex than is often recognized. Egypt figures prominently in their national myths of origin as a way station for ... More

Festivals in Ancient Greece and Rome  

Fritz Graf

Published Online:
May 2016
Festivals are periods of time, cut out from daily life, during which a group performs activities that are most often thought of as communications with the superhuman world. Festival names ... More

Gods in Ancient Egypt  

Oskar Kaelin

Published Online:
Nov 2016
The ancient Egyptians were surrounded by various manifestations of their many gods. Though their gods usually lived in heaven or in the netherworlds, they were permanently represented on ... More

Gods in Ancient Greece and Rome  

Matt Dillon

Published Online:
Jun 2019
The religions of both the ancient Greeks and Romans were polytheistic (with many gods), but centered on a finite and homogenous group of deities who were worshipped through prayer, animal ... More

Greek and Roman Priests and Religious Personnel  

Robert Garland

Published Online:
Apr 2016
The Christian word “priest,” which is generally used to translate the Greek word hiereus and the Latin word sacerdos, only inadequately captures the essence of how those who bore this ... More

Lived Ancient Religions  

Jörg Rüpke

Published Online:
Feb 2019
“Lived ancient religion” offers a new perspective on ancient religion. It shares the priority on ritual of many studies from the late 19th century onward but reconstructs ancient religion ... More

Objects and Ancient Religions  

Jay Johnston

Published Online:
Aug 2016
Objects are implicit in understanding ancient religious practice. Taken as any material artifact used by an individual practitioner, faith community, or religious hierarchy for devotional ... More

Religion and Humanity in Mesopotamian Myth and Epic  

Louise Pryke

Published Online:
Aug 2016
Concepts of religion and humanity form an integral component of Mesopotamian narrative literature, and these ideas are evidenced in the frequent exploration of themes involving mortality ... More

The Religious History of the Roman Empire  

John North

Published Online:
Dec 2017
Historians of antiquity used to argue that, from the 6th century bce onwards, the religious traditions of Greek and Roman pagans became an empty shell maintained by elites who no longer ... More

Religious Innovation in the Ancient Mediterranean  

Greg Woolf

Published Online:
Mar 2015
Sanctuaries and ritual traditions commonly gained prestige through claims of antiquity; conversely, novelty was an accusation occasionally leveled against groups such as the Christians. ... More

Sacred Space in Greece and Rome  

Michael Scott

Published Online:
Sep 2017
“It is impossible to imagine ancient Greece without its sanctuaries.” (J. Whitley, Archaeology of Ancient Greece [Cambridge, U.K.: Cambridge University Press, 2001], 134). The same ... More

Women in Classical Greek Religion  

Laura McClure

As “cultic citizens,” women participated in state festivals at Athens alongside men and celebrated their own rituals apart from them, at shrines within the house and in cults outside the ... More