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Review of "Im Schmelztiegel der Religionen"

PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2008 9:56 pm
by Cleopatra Aelia
Review by Cleopatra Aelia of

“Im Schmelztiegel der Religionen”
by Roland Gschlößl
Verlag Philipp von Zabern, Mainz, 2006

This book covers the syncretism (interpretatio religio romana) in the North-Western provinces. At first it introduces certain native gods which got a Roman name because the Romans realized that a certain quality of this native (Celtic or Germanic) god corresponds to that of a Roman god. Very often this happened to Mercurius but also to Mars and Apollo. The book also covers the characteristic Jupitar Giants pilars which are typical for Gallia Belgica and Jupiter is presented here in a way unknown in Italia. Another typical peculiarity in this region where the Matronae and also the worship of Epona, the Celtic horse goddess.

Then the book focuses on the temple and rites and here esp. on the Gallo-Roman temple.

The Oriental religions are also not left out, at first the Egyptian cults of Isis and Serapis are covered. Then the Syrian gods Jupiter Dolichenus and Heliogabalus or Sol Invictus (the latter introduced by Emperor Elagabal). Of course the cult of Mithras which became so popular with the military, is also covered. And Judaism and Christianity are also not left out, but a focus on their impact in the North-Western provinces and not so much on the Roman Empire in general.

Instead of having a glossary in the back there are little boxes explaining certain terms close to where this term appears in the text. Although the book covers only around 130 pages it is a very good overview of this topic.

PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 6:13 am
by Primus Aurelius Timavus
Salve Cleopatra,

I am very interested in syncretism. Do you know whether the book is available in English translation? MTGA.


PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2008 9:41 pm
by Cleopatra Aelia
I don't think that the book is available in an English translation. I noticed that only a few works will be translated, so I have a lot of English books as well as German ones and even a few French ones.

Did you try to find it via Amazon or any other online bookstore by entering the name of the author and as a key word "religion"?