Lecture Five: Dogs in Everyday Religion (18 February 2022)
In this lecture, we investigate how everyday religion happened materially in Roman Britain. Religion for most people on most days was about doing rather than philosophizing and about deploying materials of religion in ways that protected, cured, cursed, or communicated with otherworldly powers and entities. Fortunately, some of the period’s materials of religion, including the remains of over 1,500 dogs, survive. This evidence opens up a window into the less discursive, more experiential religion that was so much a part of everyday life, enacted and experienced not only at temples, shrines, and cemeteries, but in farmyards, kitchens, and alongside property boundaries, where people participating in ritual activities often reached––with knife in hand––for a dog.