This collection explores the multifaceted nature of the gods and goddesses worshipped in ancient Italy. It examines Italic, Etruscan, and Latin deities in context and in the material remains, and also in the Greco-Roman written record and later scholarship which drew on these texts.
Many deities were worshipped in ancient Italy by different individuals and communities, using different languages, at different sanctuaries, and for very different reasons. This multiplicity creates challenges for modern historians of antiquity at different levels. How do we cope with it? Can we reduce it to the conceptual unity necessary to provide a meaningful historical interpretation? To what extent can deities named in different languages be considered the equivalent of one another (e.g. Artemis and Diana)? How can we interpret the visual representations of deities that are not accompanied by written text? Can we reconstruct what these deities meant to their local worshippers although the overwhelming majority of our sources were written by Romans and Greeks? The contributors of this book, a group of ten scholars from the UK, Italy, France, and Poland, offer different perspectives on these problems, each concentrating on a particular god or goddess.
Gods and Goddesses in Ancient Italy offers an invaluable resource for anyone working on ancient Roman and Italian religion.
Table of Contents
Edward H. Bispham, Daniele Miano
3. Italic Ceres?
4. In the name of Diana. Feronia and other Italic Goddesses in their Sacred Landscape
Massimiliano Di Fazio
5. Getting to Know Diana
6. Beyond Rome: the Cult of Vesta in Latium
7. The God Castor at Rome: Form, Function and Cult
8. Loufir / Liber at the Crossroads of Religious Cultures in Pompeii (third-second centuries BCE)
9. Śuri et al: A "Chthonic" Etruscan face of Apollon?
10. Honouring Honos
Anna J. Clark
11. From Saviours to Salvation: Salus in Republican Italy
Edward Bispham teaches Ancient History at Brasenose and St Anne’s Colleges, and is a lecturer in the Faculty of Classics of the University of Oxford, UK. He has worked and published extensively on the history of Pre-Roman and Roman Italy. He edited (with Christopher Smith) Religion in Archaic and Republican Rome and Italy: Evidence and Experience (2000).
Daniele Miano is Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Sheffield, UK, and Junior Research Fellow at the Max Weber Centre for Social and Cultural Study of the University of Erfurt, Germany. He published a number of works on polytheism in ancient Italy, including Fortuna: Deity and Concept in Archaic and Republican Italy (2018).
"As a whole, the collection of essays in Gods and Goddesses in Ancient Italy does much to advance the scope and quality of our knowledge of the deities of the Italic world."
- Claudia Moser, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA, Bryn Mawr Classical Review