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Mithras, Neoplatonism and the stars
Published July 12, 2020

The main ideas of this study (which is a continuation of my former article entitled “Mithras, Sol Invictus, and the Astral Philosophical Connections”) are the following: I. The dichotomy and differences between the two main groups of theories regarding the origins of the Roman mystery cult of Mithras, namely the school of ...the great Belgian scholar Franz Cumont, who considered Mithraism in the Roman world as an essentially Iranian cult adapted to the new cultural Hellenistic-Roman context, and the theory of the 19th century German scholar K. B. Stark (revived in the 1970s by academics like R. Beck, J. R. Hinnells, S. Insler, R. Gordon, and A. Bausani, who considered that the Roman cult of the solar god Mithras was a new mystery cult which was born in the Roman world because of the Hellenistic scientific discovery of the precession of the equinoxes.1 My conclusion is that the Roman cult of Mithras, fused with the cult of Sol Invictus (the Hellenistic-Roman cult of the Unvanquished Sun), has more things Iranian than the name of the central deity of this initiation-mystery cult (despite its undeniable Hellenistic-Roman and astrological-astronomical elements). II. The astral element as a potent religious component of the religious and philosophical mentality of the so-called “mystery religious and initiation cults” in the Roman Empire is seen in Roman Mithraism as a ladder for the journey of the soul through the astral spheres towards perfection or possibly towards liberation (these are modern interpretations, since we do not have any consistent Mithraic religious-liturgical text). III. The role of Neo-Platonist philosophy in the religious and philosophical landscape of the 3rd and 4th centuries CE of the Late Roman Empire and its possible relationship with the Roman cult of Mithras.

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Isis the immigrant and Roman toleration
Published July 12, 2020

In adopting a foreign cult, ancient Roman worshippers were not searching for a new religion to replace their old one, but rather seeking to expand the range of gods and practices at their disposal. They assumed that all traditional gods and religions were valid and effective. There was, therefore, an implicit toleration built into the system of... ancient polytheism, and this was admired by the thinkers of the Enlightenment, though the Roman state never guaranteed freedom of worship. The cult of Isis was distasteful to the Roman élite, and the government often reacted brutally to particular actions by her worshippers. Nevertheless, her cult was always popular with the general public and the state never wished to abolish it, and eventually built a public temple to Isis. The worshippers of Isis tested the limits of Roman toleration and demonstrated its vitality.

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Visigoths and Romans after 410
Published July 24, 2020

In 410, the Roman Empire was shaken to its core after Rome was sacked by the Visigoths. The Barbarian attacks and the emergence of the usurpers created a severe crisis in the Western Roman Empire. The study of contemporary authors reveals that the crisis engendered a change in attitudes. For the Empire to be reconstructed, the traditional Roman..., anti-barbarian attitude had to be changed, and living together and cooperating with the Goths was now a must. The change in attitude can be detected in Orosius’ work, a formerly anti-barbarian author who places Athaulf’s speech at Narbonne in the centre. The marriage of the Visigoth king with Galla Placidia (414), the Romanization of the Goths, their imperial service, and their new relationship with Romans as described in the speech is all a solid basis for a reestablishment of Goth-Roman relations and the creation of a new federal agreement, which actually took place in 418.

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How does a Goddess of the Earth became the Mistress of the Sea?
Published July 12, 2020

With the coming of the Ptolemaic dynasty to the Egyptian throne, the goddess Isis goes through a series of changes that will turn her into a very different divinity. This new Hellenistic or Greco-Roman Isis not only stands out for the degree of expansion attained throughout the Mediterranean world but also for displaying a series of attributes,... among which we highlight one in particular: Her role as goddess of the Sea. This not only changed the attitude of her devotees but also entailed deeper ritual implications, festivities and iconographic motifs. There are innumerable variations that brought about her “metamorphosis” into a maritime deity, especially since this was one of the most popular facets of Isis that penetrated the Roman Empire.

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The Lombars' Move into Italy
Published July 8, 2020

The present study disputes stereotypes in historical scholarship related to the Lombards’ move into Italy and takes a position contrary to those common views. It calls into question the idea that the Lombards entered Italy as ruthless conquerors and holds the view that they moved into Italy from Pannonia not unlike the foederati in the late R...oman Empire on the basis of an agreement concluded with the Romans. The author disputes the idea that King Alboin set out on this journey together with all his people in a single move in the spring of 568, and maintains on the grounds of various logistical considerations that the Lombards migrated to Italy in a number of groupings (so-called farae) stretched over a longer period of time and along diverse routes.

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The cult of Glykon as a 'New Religious Movement'
Published July 12, 2020

This essay explores the integration of eastern religions into the Roman world during the early Empire by examining one particularly successful example, the Cult of Glykon, which became popular during the later second century and following. Drawing on the characteristics that social scientists have identified as most significant in contributing the success of New Religious Movements (NRMs) in the recent past, the presence of these features in the Cult of Glykon is considered from the surviving evidence, including the satire Alexander or the False Prophet, which was written by Lucian of Samosata. As this discussion makes clear, the Cult of Glykon appears to have achieved some measure of success as a New Religious Movement in the Roman world because it possessed many of the same characteristics. They are, therefore, a useful starting point for exploring the integration of other religious groups in the Roman world.

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Biblical speech and phrases in the Vita sancti Heinrici regis et confessoris by Adalbert of Bamberg
Published August 1, 2020

The vita of the emperor Henry II. of the Holy Roman Empire (ruled between A. D. 1002-1024) compiled by a dean of Bamberg, Adalbert about 1146 or 1170, had became one of the most influential work in the medieval German hagiography. The following paper deals with the problems of the authorship and the narrative and biblical sources of th...e vita. The study has two parts: in the first will be treated about the authorship, the sources and the reception of the vita as well the author’s method in the use of the biblical phrases. We are examining those chapters of the Vita Heinrici regis, in which the author used the biblical phrasing. In the second division of our study we are setting the details of the vita with their parallels from the Bible, investigating the author’s deep knowledge of the Holy Scripture and his virtuosity in the creative use of the biblical phrases.

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The role of archaisms in the Latin inscriptions of the Roman Empire: some new considerations in light of computerized dialectology
Published August 10, 2020

This paper aims to reconsider the role of archaisms in epigraphy and, above all, their possible dialectal value. Indeed, according to a traditional theory, provinces that were colonized earlier by the Romans preserved archaic varieties of Latin. Scholars have often used inscriptions to support this idea, particularly in the case of Hispania..., but the results of this paper, which rely on the methodology of modern Computerized Dialectology, are negative in this regard.

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Nuevas observaciones de lectura de una matriz de molde para crustula de Aquincum
Published August 1, 2020

The paper examines again a form of the well-known crustula from Aquincum, and suggests some new possibilities for various readings of the lectio vulgata.

The transformation of the case system in African Latin as evidenced in inscriptions
Published August 10, 2020

Present paper intends to explore the process of the transformation of the case system as evidenced in the inscriptions of the Roman provinces Africa Proconsularis and Numidia. First the peculiarities of the transformation of the case system in African Latin in the preChristian and Christian periods will be analysed. Then the African distributio...nal patterns of case system changes will be compared to those of other regions of the Empire selected for the survey including Spain, Gaul (including Germany), Italy, Illyricum, and the city of Rome. Finally, the results of the present analysis, especially those regarding the dialectological positioning of Roman Africa, will be compared with the results of the investigation of Gaeng 1992 regarding the later, Christian period.

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Bemerkungen zur öffentlichen Sklaverei in Pannonien
Published July 8, 2020

The monograph of Alexander Weiß on public slavery in the cities of the Roman Empire based on Greek and Latin inscriptions shed light on the role and functions of the public slaves, arguing that they had a much larger role in the administration of the provincial cities than previously thought. Weiß intended to collect all epigraphical data on ...public slavery, although he could not study some smaller corpora in Pannonia, like IlJug or the Corpus of Greek inscriptions found in Pannonia (CIGP). A new collection of inscriptions from Aquincum (Tituli Aquincenses) and new inscriptions offer a great opportunity to reexamine the epigraphical data of Pannonia on public slavery, and examine whether the public slaves of Pannonia fit into the administrative categories listed by Weiß, or might reveal new functions.

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Magic Symbols (Charaktêres) on North African Curse Tablets as a Regional Feature
Published October 10, 2021

This study examines the practice of magic symbols in North Africa to find out whether there was a regional peculiarity in the use of charaktêres that distinguished this area from other parts of the Roman Empire. Two phenomena appear to be more common in North Africa, though they may also occur elsewhere: first, charaktêres as encrypted names,... and second, charaktêres as framing devices. First and foremost, though, some introductory remarks concerning charaktêres in general are made.

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Consonantal Degemination in Latin Inscriptions of the Roman Empire:: A Dialectological and Sociolinguistic Perspective
Published September 1, 2020

In this paper, a survey is conducted on the phenomenon of consonantal degemination through the corpus of epigraphic materials. The aim of this research is to understand the nature of this phenomenon and its possible implications in the field of dialectological studies.

The inscription of the statue of Divus Commodus in Sopron
Published August 1, 2020

The collection of the Liszt Ferenc Museum Sopron, contains, among other pieces, a fragment of a marble slab. The elegantly cut letters follow the writing style of the Antonine age, with their forms close to those of scriptura monumentalis. The formal features of the fragment, its thickness and frame breadth as well as its elaboration s...uggest, excluding the possibility of funerary or building contexts, that the slab was the front side of a statue base. The letters COM at the beginning of the first line can be restored to give the name Com[modus], while the fragmentary word FRAT in line 2 gives frat[er] or some of its inflected forms, if one considers the internal coherence of the two words and excludes similar but improbable variants.

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