The Role of Animals in Ancient Myth and Religion

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The Role of Animals in Ancient Myth and Religion

Nineteenth Annual Symposium Cumanum

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Date limite : 1er mars 2013

 

GRUMENTO NOVA, ITALY
Wednesday, June 5 through Friday, June 7, 2013

In June 2013, the Nineteenth Annual Symposium Cumanum will move to Grumento Nova, at the ancient Roman site of Grumentum Nova, in the Region of Basilicata, Province of Potenza. There we will examine the role of animals in their various relationships with human beings and the gods.
In ancient Greek and Roman society, animals serve important roles—as a medium between men and gods, as religious symbols, and as poetic symbols. Archaic Greek prophets could speak with lizards, snakes and other animals, from which they learned the future and other secret things. Prophetic animals were exceedingly important in everyday life and even in political choices in ancient cities. The flights of birds and the features of sheep- or bull-livers were crucial for social life in Greece and Italy. Prophetic fishes were known in Sura (Lycia) and in the temples of Atargatis (Syria). During the imperial times mantic séances were conceived in which a cock picked up corn seeds on an alphabetic board in order to choose letters of prophetic words. The eagle was a divine assistant of Zeus, which was able to raise man up into the world of the gods, and in imperial times, it became a major, independent god.

 

 

Animals also served as religious symbols, as in Mithraism, Christianity, and Egyptian traditions. In poetry, we see even insects representing complex civilization (Vergil's bees), or souls (bees, bats, flies, and butterflies) or even human beings (such as Dido's view of the Trojans). Sometimes human beings are transformed into animals (as in the tale of Circe, and in Ovid's Metamorphoses, etc.). Such tales, accounting for the origins of certain creatures from human beings, thereby render explanations for the peculiarities and properties of these creatures.

The Conference organizers are: Attilio Mastrocinque (Università di Verona) ( Cette adresse email est protégée contre les robots des spammeurs, vous devez activer Javascript pour la voir. ), Patricia A. Johnston (Brandeis University) ( Cette adresse email est protégée contre les robots des spammeurs, vous devez activer Javascript pour la voir. ), Giovanni Casadio (University of Salerno) ( Cette adresse email est protégée contre les robots des spammeurs, vous devez activer Javascript pour la voir. ), and Sophia Papaioannou (University of Athens) ( Cette adresse email est protégée contre les robots des spammeurs, vous devez activer Javascript pour la voir. ). Details regarding the cost of the venue (registration and room and board) as well as information on transportation from Salerno to Grumento Nova, will be provided to participants.

Abstracts for individual papers should not exceed 400 words and may be submitted to Patricia Johnston (johnston@brandeis.eduor Giovanni Casadio ( Cette adresse email est protégée contre les robots des spammeurs, vous devez activer Javascript pour la voir. ) no later than March 1, 2013. All paper proposals will be peer-reviewed, and the decisions will be communicated by March 15, 2013.
Proposals for panel-sessions of three to five papers should not exceed 600 words and may be submitted to Patricia Johnston or Giovanni Casadio. Panel session proposals will be peer reviewed as soon as they are received, and proposers will receive notification within 30 days.

 

Source : APA

 

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