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How It All Works: Ritual in the Ancient Mediterranean

Thursday, May 23, 2024
9:00 AM-5:00 PM
Multipurpose Room, 1040 LSA Building Map
Students of Greek and Roman religion have often noted that people in the ancient Mediterranean were more interested in ritual participation (orthopraxy) than theological dogma (orthodoxy). But what can we know about whether and how the ancient Greeks and Romans thought their rituals accomplished anything? How did they think ritual worked? This interdisciplinary conference explores the understudied question of the efficacy of ritual, i.e., how people in the ancient world understood the positive (and sometimes negative) functions of religious practices such as sacrifice, prayer, choral dance, and temple cult. The conference aims to bring together scholars from various disciplines, such as religious studies, history, philosophy, and archeology.

Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Session 1 | 1:00 - 4:30 pm
1:00 - 1:15 pm - Opening Remarks, Celia E. Schultz, University of Michigan
1:15 - 2:00 pm - The Walls Have Eyes: Apotropaism and Iconoclasm in Late Antique Egypt, presented by Alex Bridges (University of Edinburgh)
2:00 - 2:45 pm - Understanding Ritual Causality in Mithraic Rituals, presented by Alison Griffith (University of Canterbury)
2:45 - 3:00 pm - Coffee Break
3:00 - 3:45 pm - Cognitive Insights into the Trustworthiness of Roman Divination, presented by Rebecca Hachamovitch (University of St Andrews)
3:45 - 4:30 pm - Ritual Determinants of Social Status and Social Power in the Roman World, presented by Jacob Mackey (Occidental College)

Thursday, May 23
Session 2 | 9:00 am - 12:15 pm
9:00 - 9:45 am - Plato’s Debt to Dionysiac Ritual, presented by Lucy Walsh (Trinity College, Dublin)
9:45 - 10:30 am - Can Plato’s Gods be Persuaded? presented by Justin Barney (Western Michigan University)
10:30 - 10:45 am - Coffee Break
10:45 - 11:30 am - The Theorization of Animal Sacrifice in Greek Philosophy, presented by James Rives (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
11:30 - 12:15 am - Ritual Error: Causes, Consequences, and Remedies from the Oracular Tablets of Dodona to Lydian Miracle Narratives, presented by Jan-Mathieu Carbon (Queen's University)
12:15 - 1:30 pm - Lunch Break

Session 3 | 1:30 - 5:00 pm
1:30 - 2:15 pm - Did Votive Offerings Stop Working? The End of the “Votive Habit” in Republican Italy, presented by Alexandra Sofroniew (University of California, Davis)
2:15 - 3:00 pm - From the ‘periphery of the Classical world’: Pre-Roman Italy between scrupulous rituals and fluid ‘theology’, presented by Massimiliano Di Fazio (Università di Pavia)
3:00 - 3:15 pm - Coffee Break
3:15 - 4:00 pm - Roman Prayers, A Mix of Law and Magic? The Cases of Evocatio, Devotio and Defixio, presented by Alain Blomart (Universitat Ramon Llull (Blanquerna -FPCEE), Barcelona)
4:00 - 4:45 pm - Roman Oaths Between Theology and Ethics, presented by Duncan MacRae (University of California, Berkeley)
4:45-5:00 pm - Concluding remarks, Celia E. Schultz (University of Michigan)
Building: LSA Building
Event Type: Conference / Symposium
Tags: Ancient Greece, Ancient Rome, Archaeology, Classical Studies, conference, Free, History, Mediterranean, Philosophy, Romance Languages And Literatures
Source: Happening @ Michigan from Classical Studies, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, Department of History, Interdepartmental Program in Ancient Mediterranean Art and Archaeology, Kelsey Museum of Archaeology Lectures
Upcoming Dates:
Thursday, May 23, 2024 9:00 AM-5:00 PM  (Last)