The Baron Thyssen Centre for the Study of Ancient Material Religion


If you haven’t already done so, please take the time to have a look at this new project set up by the Open University.

20120224-sacrificeBas_relief_from_Arch_of_Marcus_Aurelius_showing_sacrifice“The Baron Thyssen Centre for the Study of Ancient Material Religion is based in the Department of Classical Studies at The Open University. The Centre supports research into the material, visual and other sensory aspects of ancient religions, focusing primarily on the Greek, Etruscan and Roman worlds. Collaboratively, we explore the sacred objects, bodies and rituals of classical antiquity, addressing such topics as votives, magic, oracles, cult statues, pilgrimage, places and sacred healing. We work with art and archaeology, but we also look beyond these conventional ‘homes’ of ancient material religion, drawing on the methods, tools and perspectives of literature, philology, philosophy, classical reception studies and digital humanities. Our aims are (1) to support the systematic study of how ancient religion happened in and through material things, and (2) to bring this ancient evidence into productive dialogue with the debates and scholarship on material religions in later historical periods, right up to the present day”.


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