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Annual Webster Lecture with Sarah Iles Johnston, “Hecate and the Dead: How Grave Stelae Construct Belief”

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Restricted to: Current members of Stanford community

Event Details:

Talk Description: In this paper, I’ll offer two case studies from the late second or early third century CE, one from Thrace and the other from Phrygia. Each of them gives us new information about the relationship that Hecate had with at least some of the dead and prompts us to think about how inscriptions on grave stelae may have reflected the beliefs of those who commissioned them and in turn affected the beliefs of those who read them.

Short Biography: Sarah Iles Johnston is the College of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Professor of Religion and Professor of Classics at The Ohio State University. Her books include Gods and Mortals: Ancient Greek Myths for Modern Readers (2023), The Story of Myth (2018), Restless Dead: Encounters Between the Living and the Dead in Ancient Greece (1999) and (with Fritz Graf) Ritual Texts for the Afterlife: Orpheus and the Bacchic Gold Tablets (2007; 2nd ed. 2018). Her current work focuses on how religious beliefs are constructed and affirmed, in both the ancient world and our own—one of her projects looks at how modern supernatural horror fiction influences religious beliefs.

This talk will not be available on zoom and will not be recorded.