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Votive Body Parts in Greek and Roman Religion


Part of Cambridge Classical Studies

  • Date Published: August 2021
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781316610428

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About the Authors
  • This book examines a type of object that was widespread and very popular in classical antiquity - votive offerings in the shape of parts of the human body. It collects examples from four principal areas and time periods: Classical Greece, pre-Roman Italy, Roman Gaul and Roman Asia Minor. It uses a compare-and-contrast methodology to highlight differences between these sets of votives, exploring the implications for our understandings of how beliefs about the body changed across classical antiquity. The book also looks at how far these ancient beliefs overlap with, or differ from, modern ideas about the body and its physical and conceptual boundaries. Central themes of the book include illness and healing, bodily fragmentation, human-animal hybridity, transmission and reception of traditions, and the mechanics of personal transformation in religious rituals.

    • Examines votive offerings from all over the classical world, enabling readers to perceive important changes in beliefs and traditions
    • Brings votive body parts into a conversation with other visual and literary sources from the classical world and emphasises their importance for a wide range of topics in classics
    • Demonstrates how votives intersect with modern theories about the body and draws connections between ancient and modern perceptions of the body
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    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2021
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781316610428
    • length: 233 pages
    • dimensions: 244 x 170 x 12 mm
    • weight: 0.381kg
    • contains: 84 b/w illus.
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: fragments of history
    2. Fragmentation as metaphor: anatomical votives in Classical Greece, fifth-fourth centuries BC
    3. Under the skin: anatomical votives in Republican Italy, fourth-first centuries BC
    4. The anxiety of influence: anatomical votives in Roman Gaul, first century BC-first century AD
    5. Punishing bodies: the Lydian and Phrygian 'propitiatory' stelai, second-third centuries AD
    Afterword: revisiting fragmentation.

  • Author

    Jessica Hughes, The Open University, Milton Keynes
    Jessica Hughes is a Lecturer in Classical Studies at The Open University, Milton Keynes. She has an MA and PhD in Art History and most of her subsequent research has focused on Greco-Roman art and its reception in later periods.

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