Review of: The Mysteries of Artemis of Ephesos: Cult, Polis, and Change in the Graeco-Roman World by Guy MacLean rogers

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Book Review

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In his new book Guy MacLean Rogers offers a richly textured history of the mysteries of Artemis of Ephesos, which were celebrated from approximately the mid-fourth century BCE until the mid-third century CE. His is not, Rogers insists, an account of decline, but rather a story of the mysteries’ unimaginable success over several centuries. In order to capture subtle yet significant changes in their administration, character, and effects, he explores multiple “fields of reference” whose overlapping contours allow for a survey that is simultaneously diachronic and synchronic. The resulting study both illuminates the changing role of a particular element, mysteries or mystery initiation, within a prestigious civic cult, and also contributes more generally to our understanding of Ephesian history.