Conference: Sensing Divinity/Les sens du rite – 23-24 June 2017, British School at Rome and the École française de Rome

Conference: Sensing Divinity: incense, religion and the ancient sensorium, Rome, 23-24 June 2017

Message from Mark Bradley: For any of you who would like to hear about, and inhale, heavenly scents in Rome in June, I am pleased to announce that registration for this Anglo-French conference on ancient approaches to incense is now open:

The conference is free to all, and lunch and refreshments will be provided. The conference programme is listed below. Please do pass on these details on to anybody who you think might be interested.

Do not hesitate to let me know if you have any questions.

Best wishes,



Sensing Divinity/Les sens du rite

An international, interdisciplinary conference

23-24 June 2017, British School at Rome and the École française de Rome

Organisers: Mark Bradley (University of Nottingham), Béatrice Caseau (Université Paris Sorbonne – Paris IV), Adeline Grand-Clément (Toulouse Jean-Jaurès/IUF), Anne-Caroline Rendu-Loisel (Toulouse Jean Jaurès), Alexandre Vincent (University of Poitiers)

23th June (BSR, Sainsbury Lecture Theatre)

9.00. Welcome and reception/ coffee.

9.30. Introduction: Mark Bradley (University of Nottingham) and Adeline Grand-Clément (Toulouse Jean-Jaurès/IUF)

Panel 1: Tracking incense in the ancient Mediterranean

Chair: Lorenzo Verderame (La Sapienza)

10.00. Jo Day (University College, Dublin), ‘Burning botanicals: incense in the Aegean Bronze Age’

10.30. Elisabeth Dodinet (CNRS Toulouse), ‘L’encens… un singulier pluriel: Les identifications produites par les analyses organiques en Méditerranée et au Levant de l’âge du Bronze’

11.00. Coffee break

11.30. Julie Masquelier (Université Paris Sorbonne – Paris IV), ‘L’encens en Égypte ancienne : identification, approvisionnement et place dans le culte’

12.00. Kiersten Neumann (University of Chicago), ‘From raw to ritualized: following the trail of incense of the Assyrian Temple’

12.30. Federico De Romanis (University of Rome, Tor Vergata), ‘Tus. L’incenso sudarabico nell’Occidente romano’

13.00-14.00. Lunch

Panel 2: Frankincense and the ancient imagination

Chair: Béatrice Caseau (Université Paris Sorbonne – Paris IV)

14.00. Giuseppe Squillace (University of Calabria), ‘Incense and myrrh trees in Theophrastus’ botanical works: research method and sources of information’

14.30. Véronique Mehl (University of Bretagne Sud), ‘L’encens et le divin : le matériel et l’immatériel en Grèce ancienne’

15.00 Thea Lawrence (University of Nottingham), ‘Incense, perfume, incest and (im)pietas: myrrh, religion and gender in the Roman world’

15.30. Tea

16.00-17.00. Incense demonstrations (BSR cortile)

17.00. Free time

18.15-19.15. Keynote lecture, Esther Eidinow (University of Nottingham) ‘Sensing divinity?’

19.15-20.00. Prosecco.

20.00-22.00. Conference dinner (BSR).


24th June (EFR)

Panel 3: Incense and ritual

Chair: Alexandre Vincent (University of Poitiers)

9.30. Aynur Michèle Sara Karatas (University of Bristol), ‘Incense offering to Greek deities: analysis of epigraphic material providing evidence for incense offering in cultic context’

10.00. Stefano Caneva (University of Padova), ‘Incense in the Hellenistic ruler cult’

10.30. Coffee Break

11.00. Valérie Huet (University of Bretagne Occidentale), ‘L’encens dans les rites romains: à propos de quelques images du monde romain’

11.30. Marie-Odile Charles-Laforge (University of Artois), ‘Rites et offrandes dans la religion domestique des Romains: quels témoignages sur l’utilisation de l’encens’

12.00. Béatrice Caseau (Université Paris Sorbonne – Paris IV), ‘Early Christian rejection of incense sacrifice’

13.00-14.00 Lunch.

Panel 4: Incense and multisensoriality

Chair: Anne-Caroline Rendu-Loisel (Toulouse Jean Jaurès)

14.00. Britta Ager (Vassar College), ‘Beyond burning: wearing, eating, compounding, and worshipping incense in the Magical Papyri’

14.30. Sarah Bond (University of Iowa), ‘”Incense for nightfall”: incense, dreams and domestic religion in Imperial Rome’

15.00. Emma-Jayne Graham (The Open University), ‘The tactility of religious scent’

15.30. Tea Break

16.00. Francesco Buè (University of Urbino, ‘Carlo Bo’) ‘« Tura … sonant et odorant aëra fumis». Influenze dell’incenso sull’immaginario sonoro antico’

16.30. Élodie Dupey García (Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México), ‘Immaterial offerings in Pre-Columbian rituals: aroma and music for the Nahua divinities’

17.00. Concluding remarks

This conference has been funded with generous support from the University of Nottingham, the École française de Rome, the British School at Rome, the Institut Universitaire de France, Labex RESMED and the IDEX of the University of Toulouse.




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