Seminar on the Festival Calendar of Egypt in Late Antiquity

June 13th, Dr. Élodie Mazy (UCL) shed her light on the festival calendar in Egypt from the fifth until the eight century AD in her talk titled “Ἔργα καὶ ἑορταί: works and feasts in Late Antique Egypt”. Not only did she show how she has used Greek and Coptic papyri and ostraca to reconstruct the festival calendar, but she also expanded on the socio-economic circumstances of the celebration of these feasts. Easter, for example, was a moment to open the books and account for expenses of the past year, next to a religiously motivated feast that was preceded by fasting. Dr. Mazy’s research touched upon several topics under investigation by the project team and her talk was followed by an interesting exchange of ideas. Elsa Lucassen afterwards showed how, during the first year of the project, she has been investigating the impact of the changing festival calendar in Egypt on social cohesion in Late Antiquity. She used the Calends, Roman New Year, as case study to look at the role of festivals in changing times.