Revisiting Religious Life in Palmyra

Organised by Professor Rubina Raja


DateThu 21 Sep — Fri 22 Sep
Time08:30  —  19:00
LocationThe Royal Danish Academy of Sciences and Letters, Copenhagen




Various aspects of the religious life of Palmyra have been featured in a number of prominent publications over the last decades. We have gained much knowledge about different developments through analysis of evidence coming from archaeological, epigraphic and literary evidence. The comprehensive overview and analysis published by Ted Kaizer in 2002 constitutes the last large monograph publication on the religious life of Palmyra. However, a number of other contributions in the shape of important articles have also dealt with aspects of the religious life after this publication. On the basis of the research done until now and the advances made over the last decades, it is time to bring together scholars who have and are working on a variety of aspects of the religious life of Palmyra, in order for them to present and discuss new finds as well as new approaches to the already existing material.

Several cults of Palmyra have been described as coming from different cultural backgrounds having been brought together by the sedentarisation of the region, which we assume took place, and through which the city of Palmyra came into being. Furthermore, the influences of the assumed Roman influence on Palmyra from the 60s BCE onwards have also been discussed. The sources testifying to the religious life of Palmyra, however, confront us with a variety of dilemmas, some of which remain basic to our assumptions about Palmyrene religion and the way in which the religious life and the various cults in the city functioned and developed.

While scholars have attempted to give accounts and explanations for a variety of aspects of the city’s religious life, and in which way these were connected to social and political developments, it has still not been attempted to bring together scholars across disciplines, who have worked on such issues in order to together discuss the status of research. The idea of this conference is to produce an agenda volume on the religious life of Palmyra, which outlines research done, present new research as well as set the line of enquiries, which scholars interested in the religious life of Palmyra should investigate in the years to come. The conference papers will be published in the series Palmyrene Studies/Palmyrenske Studier founded and edited by Rubina Raja and published by the Royal Academy of Sciences and Letters.

Confirmed speakers

  • Andrade, Nathanael (Binghampton University)
  • Cussini, Eleonora (Università Ca'Foscari Venezia)
  • Dirven, Lucinda (University of Amsterdam)
  • Gnoli, Tommasi (Università di Bologna)
  • Heyn, Maura (University of North Carolina - Greensboro)
  • Kaizer, Ted (University of Durham)
  • Krag, Signe (Aarhus University)
  • Kubiak-Schneider, Alekandra (University of Warsaw)
  • Raja, Rubina (Aarhus University) - organiser
  • Sartre, Maurice (Université Francois-Rabelais, Tours)
  • Seland, Eivind H. (University of Bergen)
  • Yon, Jean-Baptiste (Laboratoire HiSoMa)

Practical information for speakers


Please make your own travel arrangements to/from Copenhagen. After your visit, your travel expenses will be reimbursed (only economy class). Please fill out this travel reimbursement form (disregard the bottom part) and return it (preferably in Excel-format) to Christina Levisen ( along with scanned copies of your receipts and boarding passes.­

NOTE: Once you have booked your trip, please send Christina Levisen your itinerary, so that the hotel booking can be finalised.


Axzel Hotel Guldsmeden 
Helgolandsgade 11
1653 København V

Phone: +45 3331 3266

Dinner and diet

Speakers’ dinners have been organised for 21 and 22 September, and of course we will cater for you during the conference. If you have any dietary restrictions (incl. allergies), please let Christina Levisen ( know in advance of the conference.