Stephan Matthiesen

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How important was trade for Troy?

The investigation of antique trade links has become rather fashionable in recent years. However, while archaeological methods can clarify the question which goods were exchanged between which cultures, it is by no means clear whether such an exchange of goods is to be interpreted as evidence for “trade”, nor is it even obvious what exactly we mean by the term “trade” when we use it to describe ancient societies.

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Oriental and mystery cults in Pompeii

The archaeological evidence in Pompeii can give us some information about oriental or mystery cults, mainly the cults of Isis and of Dionysos. There are different types of archaeological sources which differ in the kind of information they can provide us with. Paintings and mosaics give us an pictorial impression of some aspects of the religious live and therefore help to complete written sources. Their interpretation, however, is often not without ambiguities. Furthermore, the architectural remains, in particular the size and design of buildings related to religious ceremonies, can give us background information about some sociological and economic aspects, e.g. how widespread certain cults were.

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