This prize was awarded to Rianne Hermans for her PhD dissertation Latin Cults through Roman Eyes. Myth, Memory and Cult Practice in the Alban Hills, which she carried out from 2011 until 2016 under the supervision of Professor Emily Hemelrijk and Professor Marijke Gnade.
In Latin Cults through Roman Eyes, Rianne Hermans has examined three Latin sanctuaries located in the vicinity of Rome, namely those of Diana Nemorensis, Juno Sospita, and Jupiter Latiaris. Using them as her prism, she considers the role that the Latin past played in Roman memory, experience, and practice in Rome during the later republic and early imperial era. While other researchers have restricted their focus to the earliest history of the cults themselves, Rianne opted for a boldly innovative approach and convincingly positioned her study within the framework of memory studies. Delving into an enormous body of diverse source materials ranging from myths, literary texts, inscriptions, coins, and archeological evidence, she has produced a sharp analysis in impressive English that is innovative on a theoretical level. Its relevance greatly exceeding that of this case study per se, this dissertation is of considerable importance for international researchers engaged with the relationship between religion, memory, and identity in Roman society more generally.
The ASH dissertation award is presented annually to the author of the best doctoral dissertation of the Amsterdam School for Historical Studies. The award is accompanied by a prize of € 500.