CAP Symposium 2012

Associations in Context: rethinking associations and religion in the post-classical polis

International symposium, Copenhagen Associations Project, 11th-13th October 2012

Location: Faculty of Humanities (building 27, auditorium 9), University of Copenhagen, Njalsgade, Copenhagen, DK

Organizers: Dr. Annelies Cazemier & Dr. Stella Skaltsa

You can download the conference programme and paper abstracts.

A conference report is available in H-Soz-u-Kult


The importance of religion for understanding ancient associations has long been recognised, and many monographs have focused specifically on cult or religious associations. The aim of this symposium was to go beyond so-called religious associations and assess more generally the role of religion in ancient associative life (with a focus on the eastern part of the Mediterranean, from ca. 300 BC to ca. AD 300). Cultic activities, and other religious aspects, such as theophoric names, seem to have been a central concern to private associations of many different kinds. The term ‘religious association’ is regularly used in scholarship, but its use and applicability need to be critically re-assessed. In an attempt to gain a more nuanced approach and a better understanding regarding the formation, organization and aims of ancient associations, this conference moved beyond the confines of religion. In a series of twenty papers on a variety of themes and locations, we tried to reconsider the ways in which associations defined themselves, and examine their behaviour and interactions within the social, cultural, and sacred landscape of Hellenistic and Roman poleis.

Speakers and titles

  • Ilias N. Arnaoutoglou (Academy of Athens - KEIED) -- ‘Cult and craft. Variations on a (neglected) theme ...’
  • Annelies Cazemier (University of Copenhagen) -- ‘Group identity and the gods: theophoric names of associations’
  • Michał Gawlikowski (University of Warsaw) -- ‘The marzeḥa of the priests of Bel and other religious associations in Palmyra’
  • Matt Gibbs (University of Winnipeg) -- ‘Artisans and their gods: cult, religion, and ritual in the trade associations of Roman Egypt’
  • Philip A. Harland (York University, Toronto) -- ‘The economics of ritual in the associations’
  • Claire Hasenohr (University of Bordeaux) -- ‘The Italian associations at Delos: cult, social integration and politics’
  • Barbara Kowalzig (New York University) -- ‘Religious associations in a world of interactive polytheisms’
  • Stéphanie Maillot (Université Blaise Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand) -- ‘Funerary aspects of religious associations in the Hellenistic period’
  • Paraskevi Martzavou (Oxford University) -- ‘I Beroia 27: a cultic group around Zeus Hypsistos in its socio-cultural and historical context’
  • Emanuel Mayer (University of Chicago) -- ‘Pillars of Society: the public face of collegia in the Roman Empire’
  • Andrew Monson (New York University) -- ‘Political and sacred animals: religious associations in Greco-Roman Egypt’
  • Mario C.D. Paganini (University of Copenhagen) -- ‘"So that, after building a gymnasium and a hall, we may perform sacrifices on behalf of the Kings..." Religion and leisure: a gentry association of Hellenistic Egypt’
  • Paschalis Paschidis (Institute of Historical Research - KERA, Athens) -- ‘Civic cults and (other) religious associations: in search of collective identities in Roman Macedonia’
  • Stella Skaltsa (University of Copenhagen) -- ‘The religious and social landscape of private associations in Hellenistic Thera’
  • Hanna Stöger (University of Leiden) -- ‘Ostia's guild seats - fact or fiction?’
  • Christian A. Thomsen (University of Copenhagen) -- ‘Before Gods and Men - the public relations of private associations’
  • Monika Trümper (University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill) -- ‘The role of religion in Delian associations: sacred space in meeting places of associations’
  • Onno M. van Nijf (University of Groningen) --  ‘Staying Roman – becoming Greek: associations of Romaioi in Greek cities’
  • Philip F. Venticinque (Cornell College) -- ‘The economics of association funerals and commemoration’
  • Sara M. Wijma (University of Groningen) -- ‘The Thracian managers of Bendis' cult in Piraeus: orgeones as official mediators in Athenian polis religion’