Oxford Roman Economy Project University of Oxford

The Economics of Roman Religion


Thursday 22 - Friday 23 September 2016
Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies, University of Oxford

From institutions to individuals, religion shaped the Roman economy. Temples served as treasuries and banks, and priesthoods came with political power. The expansion of Roman religion transformed economies throughout the Empire, impacting established institutions and creating new centres of sacred consumption and production. Roman religion mobilised vast quantities of wealth and resources, but tensions between traditional piety and financial expenditure remained. This dynamic interplay between religion and the economy created a complex system that has hitherto received little attention.

This OxREP conference will bring together an international body of scholars to discuss the economic role of religion in the Roman world. A variety of historical and archaeological approaches will explore the subject throughout the Republican and Imperial periods. Through examination of the function of religious institutions, the role of priests and patrons, and the provincial impact of Roman religion, this meeting aims to better understand the nature and extent of religion’s influence on the economy and how it changed with the growth of the Empire.

The event will be held at the Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies in Oxford. The two-day programme will consist of four sessions of 45-minute papers. Each paper will be followed by 15 minutes of discussion.



Visit the Ioannou Centre's website for a map and directions.



If you are looking for accomodation in Oxford, many colleges offer reasonably priced and centrally located B&B rooms: http://conference-oxford.com/bb-self-catering.



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Thursday 22nd September: Religious Institutions and the Impact of the Roman Empire
10.00   Welcome and introduction - Andrew Wilson (University of Oxford)
10.30–11.30   Investing in Religion: Religion and the economy in pre-Roman central Italy - Charlotte Potts (University of Oxford)
11.30–12.00   Coffee break
12.00–13.00   Cult Economy in the Eastern Provinces - Marietta Horster (University of Mainz)
13.00–14.00   Lunch
14.00–15.00   Sacred Flocks and Herds? The implications of animal sacrifice at remote rural Romano-Celtic shrines - Tony King (University of Winchester)
15.00–16.00   Measuring Divine Devotion: Comparing the size and scale of animal offerings in the pre-Roman and Roman provinces - Rachel Hesse (University of Oxford)
16.00–16.30   Coffee break
16.30–17.30   Impact of the Roman Conquest on Temple Economies in Egypt - Marie-Pierre Chaufray (CNRS-Ausonius)
17.30–18.00   Discussion
18.00        Wine reception
19.30   Dinner for speakers

Friday 23rd September: Costs and Financing
10.30–11.30        Cost Differences in Temple Architecture between Rome and the Provinces - Javier Á. Domingo Magaña (Pontifical University of the Holy Cross)
11.30–12.00   Coffee break
12.00–13.00   Animals in Roman Religion: The economics behind the rituals - Michael MacKinnon (University of Winnipeg)
13.00–14.00   Lunch
14.00–15.00   Moneychangers in the Temple? Coins, ritual and religion in the Roman world - David Wigg-Wolf (Römisch-Germanische Kommission des Deutschen Archäologischen)
15.00–16.00   Guilds in a World Full of Gods - Koen Verboven (Ghent University)
16.00–16.30   Coffee break
16.30–17.00   Summary and Response - Greg Woolf (Institute of Classical Studies)
17.00–17.30   Concluding Discussion
17:30   Wine reception


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