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worshipping the gods

Art and Cult in Roman Eretz Israel


Asher Ovadiah and Sonia Mucznik


This book is the result of a study of the numerous archaeological discoveries in Israel by the authors, as well as of many visits to museums and archaeological sites both in Israel and abroad over the past thirty years. Consequently, they have attempted here to present for the first time a fascinating subject that is intended to awaken interest and stimulate intellectual curiosity. Indeed, it is the absence of any research-work engaging with the art and cult in Roman Eretz Israel that relate to the deities of the Greek, Roman and Oriental pantheons, that led them to undertake this work.

  The methodology applied here, based on the various artistic media discussed, was selected in an attempt to respond to some of the questions and problems that arose in the course of the study. The authors’ examination of the wealth of material, the study of the various artistic aspects and the religious and cultic rites, as well as of the attitude of the contemporary population towards their deities, furnished them with an in-depth and thorough perception of the cultural environment and atmosphere of the period. In this work they have succeeded in achieving their aim and filling in the lack in this field.

  More than 500 pictures illustrate the deities executed in marble, basalt, bronze, sandstone, terracotta, and depicted in mosaic or on coins, glass and gems. They also show sacred sites, reconstructions, drawings and ground plans.

CONTENTS: Preface, Introduction, Aphrodite, Apollo, Ares, Artemis, Asklepios and Hygieia, Athena and Dea Roma, ‘Azizos, Ba’al, Cybele, Demeter, Dionysos, The Dioscuri, Dushara/Dusares, Eros, Helios, Herakles, Hermes, Horus/Harpokrates, Isis, Kore/Persephone, Mithras, Nemesis, Nike/Victoria, Pan, Poseidon/Neptune, Serapis/Sarapis, Tyche/ Fortuna, Zeus/Jupiter, Various infrequent deities, (1. Hekate, 2. Hera/Juno, 3. Marnas, 4. Osiris, 5. Turmasgade), Epilogue, Appendix, Index, Abbreviations, Literary sources, Bibliography, List of Illustrations.

Bound, 24 x 17 cm., 464 pp. (336 pp. text, plus 58 illustrations in full colour and 414 in black and white)

2009     ISBN: 9789080647695

Price: EUR 250


Poseidon, Bronze Statue from Haifa The National Maritime Museum, Haifa

Dionysos, Marble Bust from Caesarea M. The National Maritime Museum, Haifa

Tyche, Marble Statue from Caesarea M. Sdot-Yam Museum, Caesarea Maritima