Tagged: Antiquity

Some highlights from our blog

Since 2018 we have been publishing articles, reviews, reports and personal reflections on a variety of topics. In most cases they are tied in one way or an other to one of our research areas: South Asia, especially India and Pakistan, the Mediterranean from Antiquity until today, and Europe, especially in the Medieval and Early Modern period. We have picked some of our favourite entried by fellows and core group members of the Religion and Urbanity group in Erfurt.

Archäologie aus der Ferne: Religion und Urbanität im spätantiken Nordsyrien

von Verena Fugger. Wenn es um das Thema „Archäologie in Syrien“ geht, werden den meisten LeserInnen dieses Blog-Beitrags vermutlich noch die durch zahlreiche Medienkanäle verbreiteten Bilder der Sprengung des Beltempels in Palmyra durch Gruppen der Terrormiliz Islamischer Staat am 31. August 2015 lebendig in Erinnerung sein. Abgesehen von der unfassbaren humanitären Katastrophe, die dieser Krieg über die Bevölkerung brachte, gehörten die Zerstörung und Plünderung archäologischer Fundstätten, historischer Altstädte wie jener von Aleppo und musealer Exponate zu den größten Gräueltaten des Terrorregimes. Unwiederbringlich verloren sind zahllose Kulturgüter, die – wenn sie nicht durch direkte Kriegshandlungen oder Vandalismus zerstört worden sind – ihren Weg aus den örtlichen Museen in den illegalen Kunsthandel und von dort mittlerweile auch nach Deutschland gefunden haben.

Emotional Urban Apes – A Different Take on Religion and Urbanity

At the core of the research group Religion and Urbanity at the Max Weber Centre in Erfurt lies a keen interest in the ascription of value to different life forms relating to city and civic life, that is urbanity. Yet such valorisations do not necessarily presuppose one’s physical presence in a city. One may live a perfectly happy life in a villa rustica at a safe distance from interactions with the ‘masses’, but nevertheless – and presumably for that very reason – attributing urbanity to one’s own lifestyle by assuring oneself that true civil life is not found within the city, but either outside it or in the outskirts of it at the Sans souci.

Religious Ambivalences: Podcasts II

Part two of recordings of the introductory comments by participants of the 2023 “Religious Ambivalences” conference, organised by Elisa Iori and Jörg Rüpke in November 2023 in Erfurt.

Going West: Migrating Personae and Construction of the Self in Rabbinic Culture

A discussion of an example chosen from the series of readings concerned with the reception of Babylonian immigrants in the domain of the Palestinian rabbis. The example is taken from the chapter in which I discuss the Palestinian rabbis’ use of the figure of the Babylonian Other in shaping their collective Self. Those examples deal with the mockery of the Babylonian newcomers. This story is a final anecdote in the tragicomic trilogy of encounters between Babylonian immigrants and the Galilee’s inhabitants.

Panel Report: City Branding: Urbanity and the Construction of City Images in Europe and South Asia

On h-soz-kult, you can now read the panel report by our fellow Heinrich Lang on the “Religion and Urbanity” panel at the 2023 Deutscher Historikertag in Leipzig. the panel “City Branding: Urbanity and the Construction of City Images in Europe and South Asia” was convened by Martin Christ, Sara Keller and Susanne Rau.

Robert Wiśniewski’s Lecture on Stealing and Preventing Theft in Late Antique Cities

How did people try to avoid being robbed and how did they react when it happened? Wiśniewski, drawing from a complex and varied set of sources (including letters, petitions, hagiography and inscriptions) focused on the interface of religion and society, showing how people used various strategies like divination or seeking help from religious figures. Theft in his lecture appeared to us as a complex societal phenomenon, shaking the sometimes fragile trust in local communities.

Erfurt Lectures in Late Antiquity

The ELLA series of lectures will bring to Erfurt the foremost experts in the field from Germany and abroad to discuss their research and to present new approaches on various aspects of this dynamic and fascinating time. In line with the focus of the “Urbanity and Religion” centre in Erfurt, a keen eye will be kept o the intersection of religion and urbanity.

Urban Monasticism Then and Now

Harry O. Maier discusses Mateusz Fafinski and Jakob Riemenscheider’s book, Monasticism and the City in Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. The book provides readers with a comprehensive exploration of ancient monastic and urban sites and their inhabitants, akin to a Lonely Planet travel guide. The authors examine monasticism from five aspects: as a genre, within and as cities, with respect to monks and nuns in urban settings, in terms of monastic learning, and as a phenomenon in Afroeurasia.

Gifts of Gratitude: Votive Objects in Rome and Thuringia

Votive objects, be it votive offerings, sacred dedications or ex voto, are gifts to the gods made by humans, set up in a sacred place for religious purpose. They are a feature of ancient and modern societies alike and are attested in diverse contexts and settings, sharing though a common scope: by setting up votive objects, the individuals seek to enter in communication with the gods.

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