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Keeping The Demons Out Of The House: The Archaeology Of Apotropaic Strategy And Practice In Late Antique Butrint And Antigoneia

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Chapter Summary

Amulets and amuletic imagery are characteristic features of the Late Roman world and yet few examples can be localised, physically contextualised or dated. Excavation of the late antique phases of a large peristyle house in the coastal city of Butrint in southern Albania, ancient Epirus Vetus, has produced a remarkable assemblage of apotropaic devices and protective forms which goes some way to correcting this deficiency. These, together with the imagery on a remarkable mosaic pavement in the sanctuary of a small 6th c. A.D. chapel in the nearby ancient city of Antigoneia, show the range of subjects deployed, in a period of increasing social insecurity and urban decline, to assure safety, health and success in life and a safe passage to the next world after death.

Keywords: amulets; Antigoneia; apotropaic devices; Butrint; late antique phases; Late Roman world; mosaic pavement; southern Albania



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