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Effects of Greco-Romanization on the worship of Isis in the ancient Mediterranean

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Richmond, Jaclyn
May 2008
Isis (Egyptian deity) -- Cult -- Egypt; Isis (Egyptian deity) -- Cult -- Greece; Isis (Egyptian deity) -- Cult -- Rome
The expansion of the Hellenistic and Roman empires brought their people into direct contact with a variety of cultures. Exposure to foreign deities had a significant impact on the role of religion in ancient world, especially as the Greeks and Romans adapted them to fit the ideals of their own societies. After its spread outside of the boundaries of ancient Egypt, the worship of Isis became one of the most popular mystery religions in the ancient world. Within Egypt, however, it appears that the role of Isis was relatively static. The interpretation of archaeological evidence, such as temple remains, physical objects used in connection with cult practices, and artistic representations of the deity can be used to piece together information about how the worship of Isis changed after its interaction with the Greek and Roman worlds, both within Egypt and as it spread throughout the ancient Mediterranean.
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