Materiality and Religious Experience by Csaba Szabó. Paperback; viii+242 pages; illustrated throughout in colour and black & white (54 plates in colour). 502 2018 Archaeopress Roman Archaeology 49. Available both in printed and e-versions. Printed ISBN 9781789690811. Epublication ISBN 9781789690828. |
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This book is the first comprehensive work focusing on lived ancient religious communication in Roman Dacia. Testing for the first time the ‘Lived Ancient Religion’ approach in terms of a peripheral province from the Danubian area, this work looks at the role of ‘sacralised’ spaces, known commonly as sanctuaries in the religious communication of the province.
The author analyses the role of space sacralisation, religious appropriation, embodiment and the social impact of religious communication in urban contexts (Apulum), military contexts (Porolissum and Mehadia), and numerous examples from rural (non-urban) environments (Ampelum, Germisara, Ad Mediam, and many others). The book concentrates not only on the creation and maintenance of sacralised spaces in public and secondary locations, but also on their role at the micro-level of objects, semi-micro level of spaces (settlements), and the macro-level of the province and the Danubian region as a whole. Innovatively as regards provincial archaeological research, this book emphasises the spatial aspects of lived ancient religion by analysing for the first time the sanctuaries as spaces of religious communication in Dacia. The work also contains a significant chapter on the so-called ‘small-group’ religions (the Bacchic, Mithraic and Dolichenian groups of the province), which are approached for the first time in detail. The study also gives the first comprehensive list of archaeologically-epigraphically- attested, and presumed sacralised spaces within Dacia.
About the Author
CSABA SZABO (1987) is an assistant lecturer at the University of Lucian Blaga, Sibiu (Romania). After finishing his undergraduate studies in Cluj-Napoca in 2012, he studied at the University of Pécs and the Max Weber Kolleg, Erfurt as member of the Sanctuary Project. His current research is focusing on Roman religious communication and space sacralisation in the Danubian provinces, history of archaeology in Transyslvania, and public archaeology in Romania.
'…Sanctuaries in Roman Dacia is a great source book for the religions of Roman Dacia. […] Sanctuaries in Roman Dacia opens a fresh insight into the materiality of religious practices in Roman Dacia and, on a more general level, highlights the value of sacral monuments as sources for the social and economic history of the Roman provinces.'—Damjan Donev, American Journal of Archaeology, September 2020
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