Naming the gods in Graeco-Roman Syria. Onomastic landscapes and religious dynamics

Naming the gods in Graeco-Roman Syria.

Onomastic landscapes and religious dynamics


16 JUIN 2021, 14h00-18h15


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Discussion live Zoom



Giuseppina Marano (UT2, PLH, MAP) & Aleksandra Kubiak Schneider (Université de Münster)

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To explore the idea that naming is to summon bits of ‘theology’ rooted in traditions and innovations specific to each environment, Syria provides an exceptionally rich terrain. In the framework of the MAP project (ERC Advanced Grant 741182 “Mapping Ancient Polytheisms. Cult Epithets as an Interface between Religious Systems and Human Agency”), we propose to examine the shared or specific, widespread or singular names of the innumerable deities attested with their onomastic and iconographic attributes in Syrian sanctuaries: Nabu, Nergal, Shamash, Zeus, Athena, Nemesis, or the lesser known Durahlun, Azzanathkona, or Shalman. The aim is to explore the ways in which the gods are named, arranged, and networked in reference to places, functions, modes of action, and associations. Attention will also be paid to the actors of the cults, their behaviour and motivations, their status (from rulers to village associations) and the ways in which they fit into the intertwined cultural horizons in Syria.

A draft of the papers will be available to registered participants in May. The summary presentations and extended discussion will take place in June on zoom. The link will be communicated to registered participants. Registration is free for all.

14h00-14h10 C. Bonnet (UT2J, MAP), Introduction

Temps 1

14h10-14h20 T. KAIZER (Durham University)

Some considerations on the toponymic deities of the Roman Near East


14h20-14h30 F. MAZZILLI (University of Bergen)

Naming deities and socio-political agents in the Hauran


14h30-14h40 N. ANDRADE (University of Oregon)

Syrian Goddess, Arabian God: Addressing Gods as Ethnics

14h40-15h20 : Discussion

15h20-15h30: Pause


Temps 2

15h30-15h40 L. DIRVEN (Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen)

Athena, Atargatis, Allat. Greek versus Local iconography in the cult of the goddess Allat in Palmyra and beyond


15h40-15h50 A. SARTRE-FAURIAT (Université d’Artois)

Une nouvelle mention de Séméa en Syrie du Nord


15h50-16h G. MARANO (MAP- PLH – UT2J)

Voyage dans le Massif Central : Zeus des sommets en Syrie du Nord

16h-16h40 : Discussion

16h40-16h50: Pause


Temps 3

16h50-17h K. JAKUBIAK (Institute of Archaeology – University of Warsaw)

Mithraic Cave in Hawarte (Syria) – some observations on the iconography and its possible interpretation


17h-17h10 A. LICHTENBERGER (WWU Münster)

Naming the gods in Roman Phoenicia. The evidence from the civic coinage of Tyre


17h10-17h20 A. KUBIAK-SCHNEIDER (WWU Münster)

Bel and Nabu / Zeus and Apollo: Interplay between local and Greek traditions in the religious politics of the Seleucids

17h20-18h : Discussion


18h00-18h15 M. SARTRE (Université de Tours)