The first section of this article discusses traditional religion, looking at the Ancient Egyptian worldview, mummification and afterlife, and the role of the temples in economy and administration. The second section considers new developments in Egyptian religion such as listening gods, animal cults, Egyptian “saints”, oracles, dreams, and katochê. The third section describes the growing state intervention, examining the administration of temples, priestly privileges, temple asylum, and dynastic and imperial cults. The fourth section looks at the impact of the Greek, describing interpreatio graeca, the Hellenization of the gods, and astrology. The last section describes the end of Egyptian religion, looking at polytheism, religion without temples, and Egyptian religion within Christianity.
Lauren Hackworth Petersen
This article examines ancient Rome’s ties to Egypt via the goddess Isis. More specifically, it considers the political meanings of Isis and her place in Roman religion and ritual. It first provides an overview of the connection between Egyptomania and Roman Isis, taking as a point of departure the Temple of Isis in the city of Pompeii. It then explores competing explanations of the significance of Isis in Roman society: one account places Isis in the midst of political maneuverings among the Roman elite, and another presents Isis and things Egyptian as exotic and mysterious. The article also reveals how Isis problematizes scholarly notions of religion in ancient Roman society.