Entangled Rituals in Late Antiquity
The regular, sometimes daily ritual for divine cult statues in Egypt, Greece and other regions of the ancient Mediterranean goes beyond the mere maintenance of a cult object. Instead, it comprises elements considered appropriate for the care of the human body: washing, clothing, moisturizing, ornamenting, and nourishment with sacrificial foodstuffs. Such rituals rely on anthropomorphic conceptions of the divine. The research project studies aspects of the relationship between body and statue in the medium of religious and literary metaphor in late antiquity. It explores how and to what end late antique authors exploit the imagery generated by the conceptual juxtaposition of statue and human.