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Published in: Journal Of Hellenic Religion, , Vol. 6, 1-18.


The religious beliefs and practices of the ancient Greeks are well known to us through a variety of sources. However, few historians have studied the religious aspects of seafarers’ lives in any depth and the question of whether and how they worshipped gods and practiced ceremonies aboard ship while in port or at sea has not been adequately answered. This article focuses on examining both written sources and archaeological evidence, and particularly data collected from ancient shipwrecks, pertaining to religious beliefs and practices of ancient mariners and sea traders. Written sources and artefacts recovered from ancient shipwrecks suggest that ancient Greek sailors and sea traders worshipped a number of divinities and that religion played an important role in the everyday life aboard ancient merchant ships.

Keywords: Ancient religion,merchant ships,religious beliefs,religious ceremonies,seafarers,sea traders,shipwrecks.

You are viewing the abstract of the article by Derek Irwin entitled Religion aboard ancient merchant ships. If you are holding a Subscription for its online version please login. If you want to access the article please subscribe or order the volume.