Sailing with the Gods: Religion and Maritime Mobility in the Ancient World

Sailing with the Gods is now scheduled for June 25-30, 2022 – we look forward to seeing everyone in Malta then!

More details on hotel bookings and excursions will be forthcoming soon –

All the best

Amelia and Sandy

Costs for conference attendance: these fees will cover coffee and tea and receptions during the conference.  Everyone wishing to participate in the conference tours may purchase Malta Passes as needed for those in their party. We will purchase the passes and deliver them to you on your arrival at the venue.

  • Faculty and fully waged attendees: $175
  • Students: $125
  • Colleagues and students from Malta: no charge, email John Black at with your name for catering purposes and a badge. There is no registration fee, but we do request you register.
  • Individuals attending online: no charge, email Amelia Brown at with your name and email address to receive the Zoom link.
  • Excursions/Heritage Malta Pass: $50 per person; please feel free to purchase as many as you may need

Ritual practices dedicated to maritime success appear across a wide span of human cultural history, from the Mediterranean to the North Sea, Southeast Asia across the Pacific to the west coast of the Americas. Culturally-constructed seafaring rituals could be seen as spiritual or superstitious, and respond to the combination of risk and profit endemic in even short voyages by water.

Maritime religion infuses all water-borne contact across cultural boundaries; the crafts of those who build rafts, canoes, and sailing vessels; navigational skills which may reach back to ancestors who have faded into cultural legend; and myriad mnemonic and naming strategies extending to littoral markers and celestial patterns.

Mythic and ritual responses are accordingly complex, ranging from apotropaia to the divine authorization of civic structures, shipboard shrines and functional epithets which could link divinities, heroes and nearly-deified rulers to the control of the waves and winds.

Studies of religion and maritime mobility are often framed within individual cultural contexts, but this international conference seeks to bring together scholars from across a range of disciplines and historical periods, from prehistoric to the seventh century CE, to address critical questions in method and theory relevant to religion in the context of maritime mobility.