Aspects of Ancient Greek Cult: Context, Ritual and Iconography

Aspects of Ancient Greek Cult: Context, Ritual and Iconography

Aspects of Ancient Greek Cult: Context, Ritual and Iconography

Aspects of Ancient Greek Cult: Context, Ritual and Iconography

Excerpt

The articles in this volume are based on an international conference entitled Aspects of Ancient Greek Cult, which took place 9–10 January 2004 at the Centre for the Study of Antiquity and the Department of Classical Archaeology, University of Aarhus, Denmark. The conference was organized as part of my Ph.D. program in the Department of Classical Archaeology at the University of Aarhus. Nine scholars working within the fields of architecture, classical archaeology, classical philology, history, musicology, and religion participated. The broad title for this conference reflects my intention to bring together innovative and diverse approaches to the study of ancient Greek cult, particularly those that combine the study of material culture with both textual and epigraphical evidence.

The purpose of the conference was two-fold. First to establish a network among young scholars who deal with ancient Greek cult from different disciplines and countries. Second, to let these young scholars discuss their ideas under the guidance of Professor Richard Hamilton, and then develop these discussions as articles.

The present volume contains revised versions of seven of the papers given at the conference. The paper by Hedvig von Ehrenheim, “Incubation Areas in Pagan and Early Christian Times,” will be published in the Proceedings of the Danish Institute at Athens, volume 6. The addition of the article by Vanda Papaefthymiou, archaeologist of the Athenian Asklepieion, was an obvious one since her work encompasses material discussed in several of the conference papers.

Each participant was given free rein regarding the length of their papers, and the editors have not altered their arguments. It is, of course, the editors’ hope that these eight articles will offer a fresh look at various aspects of ancient Greek cult.

This book begins, as did the conference, with Lisbeth Bredholt Christensen’s penetrating article, “‘Cult’ in the Study of Religion and Archaeology.” Since cult was to be the focal point of the conference, I asked assistant pro fessor Christensen to explore the definition and use of this term within various branches of scholarship. Whereas ‘Cult’ is not a term widely used in the field of Religion, it is popular and proliferate in the disciplines of Ancient History and Classical and Prehistoric Archaeology. Christensen . . .

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