Religious Practice and Piety

David Frankfurter

in The Oxford Handbook of Roman Egypt

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199571451
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

 Religious Practice and Piety

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  • Archaeology
  • Archaeology of the Near East
  • Egyptian Archaeology


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Traditional Egyptian religion involved much more than temples, priests, and processions. The rhythms of agriculture, the experience of the landscape, and the perpetuation and fortune of family and village all involved ritual interactions with diverse gods and spirits: in the home, in local shrines, and at festivals. Using papyri and epigraphical documentation, historians of Egyptian religion can track the fortunes of the temples through the Roman period from, first, two centuries of imperial munificence, then through financial decline (third to fourth century ce), and then imperial repression (fifth to sixth century ce). This article discusses festivals and Hellenization, religion in the domestic sphere, divination and magic in Roman Egypt, religious practices across class and culture, and Christianizing religious practice in Roman and late antique Egypt.

Keywords: Egyptian religion; festivals; Hellenization; divination; magic; Roman Egypt; religious practices

Article.  8067 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology ; Archaeology of the Near East ; Egyptian Archaeology

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