Humanities - 90398 - academic year 2018-19



Jaime Molina Vidal.......................................... 


  1. This subject is aimed at approaching students to ancient religions as a means of understanding the religious base of our culture, clearly linked to Christianity. It intends to trigger a reflection on our religiosity, the nature of our religious needs and its genesis in the antiquity
  2. Frequently, we coexist with religious facts (ceremonies, parties, deities, saints, superstitions, etc.) which have their origin, not just in the primitive Christians, but in the previous religions before Ancient times, in which they are based.
  3. The aim of this course is to encourage to reflection about our religiosity, religiosity needs nature and its changes through antiquity
  4. We pretend to make a deep analysis of main religious in Antiquity to understand our culture: our vision of death, our beliefs in supernatural  strength, the relation with our traditions and our connection with most popular religions next to us, as for example Islamic religion.
  5. Our intention is to focus the fact that all these religions are placed in the Mediterranean area and to focus that the cultural nexus have allowed being mass religions.
  6. On the other hand, it could be very useful to learn how to differentiate different deities of Antiquity. After this course, it is sure that a visit to a museum or just a glance of a work art is going to be very much taken in advantage, from Greek ceramic glass to a baroque picture of mythological and allegoric picture.
  7. So, this is a way of revalue the cultural aspect of religion, concretely of old religions as fundamental element to understand ourselves as society
  8. Theological analysis or the relationship with Christian faith, actual or old is not going to be dealt with, because we understand these topics as very personal and privates' ones, with all respects.
  9. The goal is to analyse religion and religiosity as cultural elements of our society through the analysis of its origins that to back to old times


  • Last text is going to have two parts:
    • Analysis and commentary of a group of watched images in the classroom, referring to main deities of Antiquity.
    • General commentary about basic questions dealing with these topics: religion and religiosity.


  • Introduction to Old History of Mediterranean area: societies and states. 3h.
  • An historic introduction will be done about old states in Antiquity (Eastern countries, Egypt, Greece, Phoenician and Punic world, Etruscans and Romans). The topic will be dealt with images of different cultures.
  • Analysis and reflection about basic concepts of beliefs structure in old societies, focusing on ideas such as religion, religiosity and Coiné cultural Mediterranean 1h.
  • Human religious needs: the religious feeling in Antiquity.
  • The original religions in Eastern Countries, in Asia 3h.
  • Analysis of cosmic structure through texts ( Gilgamesh's poem) and images of their goddess and cult structures.
  • Funerary world and Egypt religiosity: the   Nile and the pharaohs 6h.
  • Study of the main deities through images, Analysis of the divine role of the pharaohs and it projection to funerary world (mummies, tombs, "further on"), specially in pyramids world and their conception of death.
  • Phoenician  religion  2h
  • Comparative study of "phoenicia-punica" religions and  their influence in the Spanish religions.
  • The Judaism 2h.
  • Main elements development of Jewish religion, focusing on the origins of Jews people, their rites and religious structure.
  • Myth and analysis of Old Greece. 7h.
  • Analysis of "cosmogonies" formation in Anatolia. From then on, we are going to work with a visual analysis of images (sculpture, pictures, ceramics, etc.). The teacher will show students how to differentiate the main Greek deities, their myths and tales.
  • Roman religion 7h.Study of Italian-Roman and afterwards transformations as a consequence of Hellenic influences. Structural analysis of religion: temple, sanctuary and altar through description of different parts of the buildings. Bases development of imperial religions: eastern religions and imperial cult.
  • Christianity 8h
  • We will analyse Christian origins through texts and images, as Jewish sect and the transformations reflected on the Bible that focused Christianity towards a Mediterranean conception and as a mass religion, from Pablo of Tarso to Agustin of Hipona


  1. Introduction to Mediterranean Old History.: societies and states.
    1. Middle East.
    2. Egypt
    3. Greece
    4. Phoenician and Punic world.
    5. Rome
  2. Basic concepts about the structure of beliefs in old societies.
    1. Religion
    2. Religiosity
    3. Mediterranean culture.
  3. Societies in Mediterranean area. Human religious needs. Religious feeling in Antiquity.
  4. The primitives' religions in the Asian Middle East.
    1. Cosmic  structure
    2. Gods and their  cultures
    3. Cult  structures
  5. Funerary world and Egyptian religiosity: The Nile and the pharaohs.
    1. Egyptian gods.
    2. Pharaohs authority
    3. Funerary world: mummies, tombs and pyramids
  6. Phoenician  religion
    1. Main deities
    2. Religious influence in the Mediterranean area.
  7. The  Judaism
    1. Origins of Jewish people
    2. Religion and state claims.
  8. Myth and religion in Old Greece
    1. "Cosmogonies" formation
    2. Greek  mythology
    3. Greek gods
    4. Mystery  religions
  9. Roman religion.
    1. Mythic Italy-roman traditions
    2. Hellenic influences
    3. § Temple, sanctuaries and  altar
    4. Eastern  religions
    5. Imperial  cult
  10. Christianity
    1. Christianity origins
      1. Jewish people
        1. Sects
          1. Sadducean
          2. Pharisees
          3. Zelotes
          4. Esenis
          5. Jonhn the Baptiste
          6. Jesus Christ
      2. The original communities
        1. Jacobo
        2. Esteban: the Hellenists
        3. Antioch
        4. Alexandría
        5. Rome
        6. Pablo from Tarso
    2. Christian Institutions
    3. Relationship with Roman Empire
      1. Nero
      2. Flavios
      3. Severes
      4. Decio
      5. Diocleciane
      6. The big  persecution
      7. Causes of quarrelling between Christians and empire
        1. Religion
        2. Society
        3. Politics
    4. Roman Empire Christianization
      1. Constantine and Milan  Edict in 313
      2. Constantinides
      3. Julian the Apostate
      4. Julian's successors
      5. Teodosy
      6. Agustin from Hipone
    5. Orthodox and  heresy
    6. Christians triumph  causes
      1. Coherency
      2. Exclusivism
      3. Mass religion
      4. Single answer to the crisis
      5. Sincretism
      6. Adaptation to pagan tendencies
      7. No radical



    • Mander, P., Durand, J.M. (1995): Mitología y religión del Oriente Antiguo, Sabadell.
    • Frankfort, H. (1998): La religión del Antiguo Egipto: una interpretación, Barcelona.
    • Buxton, R. (2000): El imaginario griego: los contextos de la mitología, Madrid.
    • Ogilvie, R. M. (1995): Los romanos y los dioses, Madrid.
    • Sánchez León, J. C. (1998): Cristianismo heterodoxo en Occidente a fines de la antigüedad: adivinación, falso, martirio, herejía, Jaén.

GENERAL (Obras de referencia)

  • Vermant, J.P. (2000): El universo, los dioses, los hombres: el relato de los mitos griegos, Barcelona.
  • Blázquez, J.M.(1990): El nacimiento del cristianismo
  • Alvar, J.- Blàzquez, J.M.- et Al. (1995): Cristianismo Primitivo y Religiones Mistéricas Cátedra, Madrid.