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Aegyptiaca Romana: The widening debate

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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides a short overview of the debate as it has developed in recent years. It explains the content of these proceedings and the stand it takes in the discussion by presenting an overview of the topics discussed and their interpretations, and indicates some future lines of inquiry that might be worthwhile. Studies into the cults of Isis have been deconstructed in the past decade or so in two important, albeit related, respects. First of all the aprioristic religious interpretation has been challenged. Things Egyptian have been made part of different frameworks of interpretation like Augustan imperial ideology, Roman exoticism and colonial discourse or the Roman construction of ‘Gegenwelten’. Secondly the cults of Isis themselves have been contextualised. They have been brought out of the domain of the history of religions alone and made part of frameworks of interpretation like elite self fashioning, Hellenisation or Romanisation.

Keywords: Aegyptiaca; Egypt; Roman world



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