NSEA Panels at the 6th International ESSWE Conference

(This post is partially cross-posted from ancientesotericism.org.) The preliminary schedule for the 6th International ESSWE Conference in Erfurt is out! I am happy to report that the Network for the Study of Esotericism in Antiquity has two panels scheduled, both on the first day of the conference (Thursday, June 1st). I will be speaking about […]

The Island of Sacred Deer

The Temple of Artemis in Ephesus (Asia Minor, now Turkey) was a massive cult site which served a variety of community functions. Moreover, like other temples in antiquity, the physical space of the Temple of Artemis was designated as sacred. Nevertheless, such spaces weren’t always used for sacred purposes. For example, sacred land could be […]

Divination by Horses

  Divination in the ancient world took many forms. We’ve already talked about hepatoscopy, divination by means of the liver, as well as the fumes at Delphi. Most people are also familiar with augury, a popular form of divination which interpreted the calls and flights of birds. In the ancient world, nearly anything could be […]

Why Does Juvenal Hate Trumpets?

Roman satirist Juvenal was not one to pull his punches. He skewered Roman society, taking aim at his fellow Romans (and fellow non-Romans) in ways that are, to the modern reader, shocking and offensive. Read enough Juvenal and one quickly picks up his personal pet peeves: women, foreigners, and trumpets. Trumpets? Yes, Trumpets. Now, to […]

Ancient Curses Research Project: An Honourable Mention

Last year I undertook an independent research project on curses with Tony Burke at York University. (Learn more about this project at the Ancient Curses website!) While the course itself included curses from many different genres (Roman curse tablets? Yep. Biblical curses? Those too!), my major research project focused on Roman-era curse tablets, specifically those […]