Gaëlle Tallet

in The Oxford Handbook of Roman Egypt

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199571451
Published online November 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191750540 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology


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  • Archaeology of the Near East
  • Egyptian Archaeology


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This article discusses oracles in Roman Egypt. It argues that attending a procession and consulting an oracle offered a key opportunity for worshippers to take part in the ritual system. In Egypt, unlike in the Greek world, the ritual system was rather segregated: worshippers were not allowed to enter the temple precinct, apart from open spaces such as courtyards, and the god's statue was confined in the innermost sanctuary, accessible only to priests for cult activities that were kept secret. Therefore, religious festivals were a major social context for interaction between the sacred and profane worlds, between priestly monitoring of the sacred and popular needs.

Keywords: Roman Egypt; oracle; ritual; worship; religious festivals

Article.  10147 words. 

Subjects: Archaeology of the Near East ; Egyptian Archaeology

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