Universitatea Lille Nord de France,
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10 / 2015
Light in Isiac Festivities
In Antiquity, the Isis worship knew a progressive development in the Mediterranean world, attracting followers ceaselessly more numerous, in particular between the IInd century BC and the IIIrd century AD. They still survive into the IVth century, before fading gradually under the victories of a conquering Christianity and. The special Isis celebrations are undoubtedly a part of the elements, which are known to have seduced the populations, by the crowds they attracted, the fervor, which they emanated, and the exotic character, which characterized them. Among the subtleties, which were used then, we underline wide use of light and lighting. The Isis and oriental worships were indeed marked by the use of the lighting even in the common daily ceremonies, and these practices were particularly developed for the goddess special holy days. We also found a large number of lamps decorated with the representations Isis and affiliated gods in the whole antique world, witnessing the importance which the “consumers” of this time granted them.
Keywords: Ancient History – Archaeology – Isis cult – Oriental cults – Role of lighting – light celebrations