The Roman Society

Society for the Promotion of Roman Studies

Talking to the Gods

Talking to the Gods: New Research in Roman Britain

Biennial Roman Britain Day Conference

Saturday 21 November, 2015

University of Southampton, Avenue Campus, Highfield Road, Southampton, SO17 1BF


Creating a more powerful being has been a human instinct throughout much of history, and from the temples of Egypt to Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, some of the greatest works of human creativity have been the buildings in which people have sought to interact with their gods. For the people of Britain living under Roman rule, conquest brought not only new gods, but also new forms of buildings in which to worship them. From the monumental remains of the Temple of Sulis at Bath, to small rural shrines, archaeology has revealed an array of the different forms these buildings took.  In the last ten years, there have been exciting new discoveries, with new temples discovered, and known sites re-excavated. Advances in techniques have increased the amount of information we can extract from excavation, and so we can now understand better how temples fit into their wider landscapes, and the kinds of rituals people carried out in these places. This workshop presents the results of some of the most significant research, pulling this material together for the first time.

Speakers & Topics
Andrew Birley (Vindolanda Trust), Gods of place and gods of places at a military base: the Goddess of the Ardennes Mountains, Gaul and the worship of Jupiter Dolichenus at Vindolanda

Ian Haynes (Newcastle University) and Tony Wilmott (Newcastle University), The Roman Temples Project, Maryport: A centre for the Jupiter Cult on the North West Frontier

Dougie Killock (Pre-Construct Archaeology), Tabard Square London

John Pearce (King's College London), Seeing the gods: divine images from making to unmaking in Londinium and beyond

Zena Kamash (Royal Holloway), Understanding Continuity and Change on Temple Sites: the case of Marcham/Frilford

Alexander Smith (University of Reading), Alternative architectures of sacred space in the Romano-British countryside

Louise Revell (University of Southampton), Writing a religious history of Roman Britain

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