Myths and Rites as Cultural Expression of Emotion
Our project investigates the role of emotions in ancient religions from a History of Religions perspective and focalizes especially on Greece, Rome and Egypt. In our view, myths and rites can be considered two different and complementary ways to express emotions in Antiquity, by narrativizing them or by acting them. We analyze literary, archeological and iconographic sources in a comparative and anthropological perspective, which is very sensible to variations of the historical context. We are particularly interested in:
- Human emotions aroused by contact with gods (epiphany)
- The role of emotions in figurative representations of gods (e.g. divine beings who are usually represented as monstrous and horrifying)
- Divine emotions (particularly wrath)
- Emotions provoked by ritual practices which are attributed to “others” (e.g. horror for human sacrifices).
This year, the post- doc project of Doralice Fabiano will develop a new issue, the relation between landscape and emotions in Greek and Roman religion. Are some landscapes more “sacred” and inhabited by gods than others? Is there a specific relation between specific natural landscapes and certain divine figures? Which are human emotions provoked by these sacred landscapes?
Professor at Department of Ancient Classics, University of Geneva