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The first ever conference of the Society for Ancient Mediterranean Religions was held on June 28, 2009 at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome, as part of their 100th anniversary celebration. Thanks go to Father Abrego, the Rector of the PBI, for his graciousness on hosting our conference, and especially to Fred Brenk who was instrumental in making arrangements. Thirty-six participants from eight countries (and four continents!) spent an entire day discussing What’s Religious about Ancient Mediterranean Religions?, with papers ranging from Pharaonic Egypt to Hellenistic Greece to Imperial Rome, and with topics ranging from domestic cult practices to artistic representations to theoretical models. Immediately following the conference, participants retired to a nearby restaurant where they enjoyed spumanti and antipasti. SAMR also wishes to express its appreciation to Marina Piranomonte of the Soprintendenza Archaeologica di Roma, who enabled participantsin the conference to visit the so-called Underground Basilica near the Porta Maggiore and the catacombs of St. Peter and Marcellinus.

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