Peopling the Past, Video #10: Katherine Blouin talks about the Cult of Isis

Dr. Katherine Blouin roaming the wild streets of Toronto, Canada
Dr. Katherine Blouin roaming the wild streets of Toronto, Canada

In the tenth instalment of our video series, Dr. Katherine Blouin discusses the cult of the ancient Egyptian goddess Isis in Hellenistic and Roman Egypt, including the worship of Isis beyond Egypt and the textual evidence provided in the “Hymn to Isis” recovered from the site of Oxyrhynchus.

Katherine Blouin is Associate Professor in Classics at the University of Toronto. Her work centres on the socio-economic and environmental history of Roman Egypt, and her research interests include the Nile Delta, multiculturalism, cultural identities, as well as environments, peoples, and periods that are commonly considered to be ‘marginal’. She has also worked on the cataloging, restoration, and digitization of the Greek papyrus collection in the Bibliothèque Nationale de France and on the edition of Greek documents on papyri, leather  and ostraca from that collection, as well as from the Franco-Italian mission at Tebtunis. Her current research explores the ways in which imperialism, colonialism, and Orientalism have impacted (and are still impacting) the fields of Classics, Papyrology, and Egyptology. She is a co-founder and co-editor of the blog Everyday Orientalism.

Interested in learning more? Check out these resources:

Blouin, K.. Forthcoming. “What’s faith got to do with it? A diachronic perspective on empire, land, and religion.” In Egypt and Empire: Religious Identities from Roman to Modern Times, edited by E. O’Connell. London, 29p

Bricault, L., and M.J. Versluys, eds. 2010. Isis on the Nile. Egyptian Gods in Hellenistic and Roman Egypt. Leiden: Brill.

Hackworth Petersen, L. 2016. “The Places of Roman Isis: Between Egyptomania, Politics, and Religion.” Oxford Handbooks Online.

Higgins, S. 2012. “Divine Mothers: The Influence of Isis on the Virgin Mary in Egyptian Lactans-Iconography.” Journal of the Canadian Society for Coptic Studies 3–4: 71–90.

Further Reading

Bricault, L., and M.J. Versluys, eds. 2006. Nile into Tiber. Egypt in the Roman World. Leiden: Brill.

Bricault, L., and M.J. Versluys, eds. 2014. Power, Politics, and the Cult of Isis. Leiden: Brill.

Grenfell, B.P., and A.S. Hunt. 1915. The Oxyrhynchus Papyri vol. XI. London: Egypt Exploration Society.

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