Emma-Jayne Graham discusses her newly launched digital project with Jessica Hughes called The Votives Project, which examines ancient religion, medicine, and the divine through the lens of votive offerings in ancient sanctuaries and beyond.
“There must be lots of people working on material like this – wouldn’t it be great to be able to talk to them too?” This was the gist of a conversation with my colleague Jessica Hughes which eventually led to the creation of The Votives Project: a website and network of people from different backgrounds who study, create, or use votive offerings or other related ways of communicating with the divine.
As Benjamin Isaac concisely stated in a 2016 piece in Eidolon,[i] the “pseudo-scientific roots” of American racism can be traced back to Ancient Greek theories of human difference. A crucial text quoted at length by Isaac is Airs, Waters, Places . Preserved as a medical document in the Hippocratic Corpus , this treatise argues that climate has a strong influence on human biology and human society: some climates are conducive to bodily health and social flourishing, while others are conducive to disease and lack of ‘civilized’ society. Isaac cites this text as foundational for the later development of theories of race: