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Stutz, Jonathan (2020): Mocking Parades and the Place of Pagan Statuary in Late Antique Alexandria. In: Zeitschrift für Antikes Christentum, Vol. 24, No. 2: pp. 270-288

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With the present paper I would like to discuss a particular form of procession which we may term mocking parades, a collective ritual aimed at ridiculing cultic objects from competing religious communities. The cases presented here are contextualized within incidents of pagan/Christian violence in Alexandria between the 4th and 5th centuries, entailing in one case the destruction of the Serapeum and in another the pillaging of the Isis shrine at Menouthis on the outskirts of Alexandria. I would like to build on the thesis that the parading of sacred images played a prominent role in the discourse on the value of pagan statuary in the public space. On the one hand, the statues carried through the streets became themselves objects of mockery and violence, involving the population of the city in a collective "ritual of exorcism". On the other hand, the images paraded in the mocking parades could also become a means through which the urban space could become subject to new interpretations.

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