Kronos, Shiva, & Asklepios: Studies in Magical Gems and Religions of the Roman Empire
Transactions American Philosophical Society: Volume 101, Part 5
Paper, 132 pages (10 front matter, 122 text)
Iconographies and texts that appear in some series of magical gems are presented in this fascinating study. Magical gems are still a scarcely explored area of antiquity in which new features of religion can be discovered. This volume presents an intriguing religious complex that concerns the Egyptian Kronos, his relations with Syrian culture, and Platonism. A totally new aspect of the book considers the reflection of Brahmanic thought on the iconography of magical gems. This book gathers five studies on these and other topics.
This new publication by Attilio Matrocinque, professor of Roman History at the University of Verona, new Vice-President of the Società Italiana di storia delle religioni (1.6.2012) and a most prolific writer in the field of the the history of ancient Mediterranean religions, is highly noticeable and worth reading for at least two reasons.
1. It is a meticolously researched book, a gripping work of scrupulous erudition burgeoning with brilliant insights (see esp. the chapter on Helios-Shiva, Porphyry, Bardesanes).
2. It demonstrates that it is possible to produce cutting-edge research without paying homage to currently fashionable hermeneutic paradigms, more deleterious than so-called past grand theories.
Attilio Mastrocinque is in the Department of Time, Space, Image, and Society at the University of Verona in Italy. In addition to his work with magical gems, his other primary areas of interest are ancient Mediterranean religions, as well as Roman religion, Roman history, and Hellenistic history. Professor Mastrocinque also is working on another book project: Bona Dea and the Cults of Roman Women.