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Dneise Wilding speaking at The Midlands Classics and Ancient History Colloquium 2019

Location: University of Warwick

Denise will be presenting on

Tokens and Temples: The role of tokens in interactions between worshippers and gods in the Roman period.

The role played by material culture in mediating the interactions of individuals with the gods has been discussed extensively in studies of the Roman period. However, tokens have been little considered as part of this corpus of material culture, and where they have been, discussion is often limited. They have therefore been neglected in terms of their potential for understanding worshipper-deity interactions. Additionally, no studies have collated tokens from religious sites together on an inter-province scale, and only rarely have they been explored on an intra-province basis.

Therefore, this paper aims to address this lacuna through focus on the tokens from temple and shrine sites from the provinces of Britannia, Gaul and Egypt. Exploration of tokens found in these three areas will allow analysis of how they functioned as votives in the Roman period, through consideration of their findspots and contexts on religious sites. This approach will also investigate how significant differences in their form, iconography and material facilitated interactions in different ways, and highlight the diversity of tokens across the Roman Empire. Consideration will also be given to tokens that have not been found on shrine or temple sites, but that could have formed part of the materiality of religious festivals, and therefore enabled participation in religious events.

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