09 oct 2018
18:15  - 20:00

Events, Public event, Guest lecture / Talk, Colloquium / RBe

Soknopaiou Nesos: Village of Priests

Cisca Hoogendijk (Leiden) Kollegienhaus, Hörsaal 115

Soknopaiou Nesos was a small Egyptian village on the border of the western desert. It was founded in the third century BCE and had its peak in the early Roman period. The archaeological remains of this village are impressive. Smaller objects and Egyptian and Greek papyri and ostraca found there, throw light on the daily life of its inhabitants. It turns out that the majority of the population held priestly functions in the large temple of the crocodile god Soknopaios, which formed not only the religious, but also the cultural and economic centre of the village. Following an introduction on the remarkable location of Soknopaiou Nesos and the history of the legal and clandestine excavations of the site, we shall, mainly on the basis of some Greek papyri, take a brief look into the lives of these priests: their religious and private activities, their internal relations as well as their relation with the (Roman) government. We shall also discuss possible causes for the sudden decline and abandonment of this village in the early third century CE.

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