Ancient history — social, religious, and cultural — is made up of a dense web of ‘memory layers’ or ‘networks of memories’. This introductory chapter discusses how such layers are represented and refracted in different contexts of the written and material remains of antiquity. The processes of creating memory and of forgetting are continuous. Memory layers began in the distant pasts of ancient communities and continued in richly documented historical periods, in which our most articulate ancient evidence lies. The chapter explores these themes through and around the material presented in the twelve varied studies that follow, in Greek, Roman, Jewish, Christian, and pagan contexts.
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