WILLIAMS-REED, ERIS,KATHLYN,LAURA (2018) Water and Religious Life in the Roman Near East. Gods, Spaces and Patterns of Worship. Doctoral thesis, Durham University.
This thesis examines the relationship between water and religious life in the Roman Near East. It analyses the ways in which religious communities engaged with water in the characterisation of gods, the organisation of sacred spaces and the development of patterns of worship. These three themes – gods, spaces and patterns of worship – constitute the core chapters of this thesis. This study demonstrates that the religious communities of the Roman Near East engaged critically with water in the development of their traditions and practices, and that the nature of this engagement was directly influenced by local environmental conditions. Previous scholarship has consistently marginalised the importance of water in religious life across the Roman Near East. This disregard began with the classification of water as a primitive layer of religion and continued with either indifference to the nuances of the local environment or unquestioning acceptance of water’s presence in the religious sphere. As a result, by neglecting to explore the nuances with which the relationship between water and religious life manifested, we have overlooked the many ways in which the religious communities of the Roman Near East interacted with the varied bodies of water that formed their local environment. To address this marginalisation, this study elevates water and its particular environmental dimensions to the forefront of discussion. It achieves this by utilising environmental data in order to determine the local nuances of the region’s diverse landscapes, as well as drawing on a range of material – including literature, religious architecture, inscriptions, sculpture and mosaics, and coinage – from which we might seek to understand religious life in the Roman Near East. This study concludes that the relationship between water and religious life in the Roman Near East emerges as one that is fundamentally grounded in local variety.
|Item Type:||Thesis (Doctoral)|
|Award:||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Faculty and Department:||Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Classics and Ancient History, Department of|
|Copyright:||Copyright of this thesis is held by the author|
|Deposited On:||30 Apr 2019 13:18|