Egyptian influences on the architecture of Roman Asia Minor

Öztürk, Onur
Similar to the other Oriental cults in the Roman world, Egyptian deities were quite popular in many Roman cities. This study, first of all, tries to explain the general characteristics of Oriental religions, the reasons of their popularity in the Roman Empire and their development during the ancient period. The diffusion of these cults in the Roman world was not only due to the existing political system or religious beliefs, but also because of their transformation in the course of centuries. In this respect, after giving a brief information about the essential properties of these cults, the second part concentrates on the changes in the Egyptian cults especially during the Hellenistic period. After this transformation Egyptian gods were worshipped in numerous coastal cities of the eastern Mediterranean during the Hellenistic period and, later in the Roman period, in Rome and all provinces. As in other regions of the Roman Empire, inscriptional mand numismatic evidence indicates the existence of the worship of Egyptian divinities in many cities of Anatolia as well. Although the actual number of architectural remains is quite limited, these reveal significant facts about the multiplicity of influences on the architecture of Egyptian cults in Asia Minor. In this study three famous buildings dedicated to the Egyptian Gods, namely, the Helios Serapis Building at Miletos, the temple of Serapis at Ephesus and the Red Hall at Pergamon were chosen in order to explain how the Egyptian religion found its expression in the architecture of Roman Asia Minor.


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Citation Formats
O. Öztürk, “Egyptian influences on the architecture of Roman Asia Minor,” Middle East Technical University, 2002.