The Mario Del Chiaro Annual Lecture
5:00 pm | 9/14/2023 | 315 Wheeler Hall - Reception to follow
Ritual Time: The Seasonal Calendar and Religious Festivals in Republican Italy
Abstract: Time, an essential constituent of ancient ritual, necessarily shaped and channeled the experience of religious performance as well as the sense and sanctity of the place where it was enacted. Certainly, different time scales—ancestral, meteorological, agricultural, migratory, military, commercial, lunar, stellar, or solar cycles—could be brought together in effective and meaningful ways. But the specific character or experience of time would necessarily depend on who was experiencing what and, arguably most of all, on the where of the experience. In this presentation, I focus on the sacrificial altars at two sanctuaries in proto-urban Italy to show how these naturally and socially emplaced altars, with their deliberate orientations to solar and stellar seasonal events, along with the associated archaeological finds discovered at these monuments, were themselves a form of ritual, seasonal timekeeping that closely determined the integration of local agricultural, religious, and economic practices for each particular emerging community.
Sponsored by the Mario Del Chiaro Center for the Study of Ancient Italy & Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology, UC Berkeley