Mythology and religion

Photograph of an assyrian sculptural depiction of AshurKen Dowden works on mythology and the history of the interpretation of mythology. He also works on Greek religion, on soteriological aspects of religion and mythology in the Roman Empire, and on religious and philosophical aspects of the ancient novel. Key publications: Death and the Maiden: girls’ initiation rites in Greek mythology (1989); Uses of Greek Mythology (1992); European Paganism (2000); Zeus (2006); (with Niall Livingstone) A Companion to Greek Mythology (2011).

Niall Livingstone works on myth as a way of thinking outside and beyond the world we live in. Key publications: Isocrates' Busiris: a Commentary (Leiden: Brill, 2001); (with K. Dowden) A Companion to Greek Mythology (Blackwell, 2011), which includes 'Instructing Myth: From Homer to the Sophists', and (with K. Dowden) ‘Thinking through Myth, Thinking Myth Through’. His forthcoming book The City as University (Routledge) illuminates life in the Greek and Roman city by showing how a culture of performance and involvement in democratic Athens nurtured autonomous, engaged citizens.

Alasdair Livingstone’s research centres on Ancient Near Eastern religion and the publication of cuneiform texts with religious and mythological content. He has a particular interest in Assyrian and Babylonian ritual and its ancient and modern interpretation as well as literary calendar texts and their role in everyday religion. Key Publications: Mystical and Mythological Explanatory Works of Assyrian and Babylonian Scholars (1986, reprinted 1987 and 2007); Court Poetry and Literary Miscellanea (State Archives of Assyria 3) (1989). Alasdair is currently preparing an edition of hemerological texts and a volume on the context of Neo-Assyrian literature and mythology.

Martin Bommas studies ancient Egyptian religion and myth and has published largely on rituals and magic. His main focus is on religious texts from the Old Kingdom to the Greco-Roman Times: Die Heidelberger Fragmente des magischen Papyrus Harris, Schriften der Philosophisch-historischen Klasse der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, Heidelberg 1998; Die Mythisierung der Zeit. Die beiden Bücher über die altägyptischen Schalttage des magischen pLeiden I 346, Göttinger Orientforschungen IV. Reihe Ägypten 37, Harrassowitz-Verlag, Wiesbaden 1999; ‘Zwei magische Sprüche in einem spätägyptischen Ritualhandbuch (pBM EA 10081): Ein weiterer Fall für die „Verborgenheit des Mythos“’: in ZÄS 131/2, 2004, 95-113 and Taf. IX-XII. Together with Jan Assmann he has worked on ancient Egyptian mortuary Liturgies, Altägyptische Totenliturgien I-III, Heidelberg 2002-2008. Another major research focus is the cult of Egyptian gods in the Mediterranean: Heiligtum und Mysterium: Griechenland und seine ägyptischen Gottheiten, Sonderband der ANTIKEN WELT/Zaberns Bildband zur Archäologie, Zabern-Verlag, Mainz 2005 , Göttinger Orientforschungen IV. Reihe Ägypten 37, Harrassowitz-Verlag, Wiesbaden 1999; ‘Zwei magische Sprüche in einem spätägyptischen Ritualhandbuch (pBM EA 10081): Ein weiterer Fall für die „Verborgenheit des Mythos“’: in 131/2, 2004, 95-113 and Taf. IX-XII. Together with Jan Assmann he has worked on ancient Egyptian mortuary Liturgies, I-III, Heidelberg 2002-2008. Another major research focus is the cult of Egyptian gods in the Mediterranean: , Sonderband der ANTIKEN WELT/Zaberns Bildband zur Archäologie, Zabern-Verlag, Mainz 2005

Gareth Sears works on the relationship between Christians and their urban environment in late Roman Africa; this includes the construction of monumental Christian spaces. He also examines the relationship between different religious groups in the later Roman Empire and on the competition for space between groups. Key publications: Late Roman African Urbanism (2007); The Cities of Roman Africa (2011); The Fate of the Temples in Roman Africa in L. Lavan and M. Mulryan The Archaeology of Late Antique 'Paganism' (forthcoming 2011).

Tony Leahy