21-05-'12 | Ancient World Seminar |Eva Mol & Maaike Leemreize|
|Wanneer:||ma 21-05-2012 16:15 - 17:30|
Literary and Archaeological Perspectives on Egypt in the Roman World: A Case Study on Animal Worship
Eva Mol and Maaike Leemreize employ a dual perspective (literary and archaeological) on a single case study: Egyptian animal worship in a Roman context. The intricate subject of animal worship is surrounded by scholarly preconceptions on its appropriation and the subsequent Roman perception of Egypt. A combination of literary and archaeological analysis is able to provide a context in which this phenomenon can be properly understood. For instance, although comments on animal worship in Roman literature are of a negative tone, they seem to have more to do with Roman self-representation than that they would point to Roman hatred of Egypt. Further, despite the Roman disapproval of animal worship suggested by literary sources, animal gods are present in the material record. This lecture analyses the two types of sources critically in order to get a clearer view on how Romans perceived animal worship and how they used material and literature to transfer social messages.
The research of Eva Mol and Maaike Leemreize is part of the VIDI-project C ultural innovation in a globalising society: Egypt in the Roman world , based at Leiden University (project director dr. M.J. Versluys). This interdisciplinary project is devoted to the understanding of the different contexts in which Egypt, as conveyed in style, imagery, object and text, was integrated in the Roman world and asks how Rome and Roman cultural identity is affected by foreign cultures. Within this context mainly Greek influences have been intensively studied whereas Egypt has been neglected to a great extent. The project aims to understand the process of Roman cultural innovation properly by carefully studying the presence of Egypt in Roman material culture and literature.