Roman Discourse on Magical Stones : Vulnerability and Strength of the Feminine Body

- Jeudi 18 octobre 2018 de 16h à 18h
Conférence et vidéo conférence de Véronique Dasen, Université de Fribourg
Sur place au CNRS d’Ivry sur Seine, 27 rue Paul Bert, métro Porte de Choisy/Porte d’Ivry, salle C en sous-sol
ou à distance par vidéo-conférence

Cette conférence est la 21e séance mensuelle du séminaire interdisciplinaire :
“The Individual and his Body in the Ancient Mediterranean Basin” organisé par Alice Mouton.

Résumé :
Amuletic devices of various material and shapes were ubiquitous in ancient daily life as personal protections, especially in the lives of women and children. For long, scholars have regarded this material as anecdotical and marginal, like magic as a whole. These objects may appear difficult to date and contextualize because their shapes and material belong indeed to very ancient traditions, such as the lunula or the shell, going back to ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, but in a continuing process of transmission and adaption to new religious and social contexts. The example of Omphale and Heracles’ club and knot in the Roman period shows how these devices can deliver an unexpected discourse on the body, gender and sexuality. The use of amuletic protections is traditionally interpreted as a response to vulnerability, but amulets can also be interpreted as evidence of the mastery that Roman women aimed to have – or were assumed to have – of their own body.