Tal, Oren and Weiss, Zeev. Editors. Expressions of Cult in the Southern Levant in the Greco-Roman Period: Manifestations in Text and Material Culture. Contextualizing the Sacred 6. Turnhout: Brepols.
The arrival of Alexander the Great in the southern Levant ushered in many changes, and the subsequent period saw many more upheavals, including the Roman conquest, the Jewish revolts, and the gradual Christianization of the Holy Land. Throughout this period, many local ‘pagan’, Jewish, and Christian cults and cultic places dotted the local landscape of the southern Levant, which today covers the area of Israel, Jordan, and parts of Lebanon and southern Syria. These cults underwent processes of profound change, but also preserved much of their older identities while still interacting with each other.
This volume seeks to present these processes both synchronically and diachronically, along three different axes – cultic places, personnel, and objects. The common denominator shared by these three axes is the people whose beliefs and practices shaped religious behaviour in the Greco-Roman southern Levant. The 18 articles in this volume investigate whether cultic practices formed a coherent cultural system. They consider the co-existence and competition of the different religious systems, analyzing them in terms of continuity, discontinuity, and change over an extended period of time, roughly from the arrival of Alexander the Great to the Imperial integration of Christianity (ca. late fourth century BCE - early fifth century CE). The approaches presented in the volume are varied and interdisciplinary, combining archaeological, philological, historical, and art-historical analyses of multiple bodies of evidence.