Local Horizons of Ancient Greek Religion

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Centre For Classical And Near Eastern Studies Of Australia

Madsen Building (F09), Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney

Camperdown, NSW 2006


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There has recently been an upsurge of scholarly interest in diversifying our understanding of ancient Greek religion. At the same time, conceptual work on the local provides new insights into the lived experience in the ancient Greek world. The conference ‘Local Horizons of Ancient Greek Religion’ combines both lines of inquiry. The overall aim is to complicate our understanding of ancient Greek religion by exploring the local as a space for divergence, idiosyncrasy, and plurality. Rather than simply reviving the idea of polis religion, advocacy for the local perspective encourages a conception that is not confined to the political and social aggregation of the city-state alone.

A critical discussion of ancient Greek religious localism and how it can inform different areas of study is still outstanding. Recent advances in the field of local/global interactions disclose the tension between the local sphere on the one hand, and regional/universal, or Panhellenic, paradigms on the other. The individual papers of this conference will come together to explore this tension. In doing so, they will investigate the local both as a sphere of religious conduct and as a quantity in its own right that informs the exercise of religion in ancient Greece.

We anticipate participation from scholars working in the areas of Greek religion, history, philology, material culture, historical anthropology, and the other sub-disciplines of our field.

Conference Programme:

Day 1 – Tuesday, November 20

5:00 – 5:15 Welcome—Julia Kindt

Public Keynote Lecture

5:15 – 6:45 Hans Beck, McGill University—The Gods in Place. Local Religion in Ancient Greece

Day 2 – Wednesday, November 21

9:00 – 9:15 Opening Remarks—Hans Beck and Julia Kindt

Session 1

9:15 – 10:00 Julia Kindt, University of Sydney—Localism and the Greek Gods

10:00 – 10:45 Diana Burton, Victoria University of Wellington—Location, Location, Location: The Importance of Local Topography in Greek Cult

10:45 – 11:15 Coffee Break

Session 2

11:15 – 12:00 Greta Hawes, The Australian National University—Observations on Local Cult within the Topography of Pausanias’ Periegesis

12:00 – 12:45 Barbara Kowalzig, New York University—Local, Glocal, Global: Towards a Maritime Perspective on Greek Religion

12:45 – 1:45 Lunch

Session 3

1:45 – 2:30 Amelia Brown, University of Queensland—Local Horizons, Distant Shores: Ancient Greek Mariners and their Mediterranean Community of Costal Cults

2:30 – 3:15 Julietta Steinhauer, University College London—Between Local and Global: Minor Shrines and Religious Associations on Delos

3:15 – 3:45 Coffee Break

Session 4

3:45 – 4:30 Jeremy McInerney, University of Pennsylvania—The Lindian Chronicle and the Rhodian Priests

4:30 – 5:15 Juliane Zachhuber, University of Oxford—Protecting Hiera from the Polis: Localizing Tendencies in Post-Synoikism Rhodes

Day 3 – Thursday, November 22

Session 5

9:00 – 9:45 Renaud Gagné, University of Cambridge—Local World Horizons: The Delphic Septerion

9:45 – 10:30 Susan Lupack, Macquarie University—Mycenaean Worship in Minoan Territory

10:30 – 11:00 Coffee Break

Session 6

11:00 – 11:45 Tulsi Parikh, University of Cambridge—Polytheism and the Distribution of Votives in Corinthia

11:45 – 12:30 Kate McLardy, Monash University—Local Variation in the Thesmophoria Festival: Athens and Sicily

12:30 – 1:30 Lunch

Session 7

1:30 – 2:15 Peter Londey, Australian National University—Finding the Local in Delphoi

2:15 – 3:00 Peter Funke, Universität Münster—Panhellenic Sanctuaries, the Local and the Regional Perspective

3:00 – 3:30 Coffee Break

Session 8

3:30 – 4:15 Claire Taylor, University of Wisconsin-Madison—Problematizing Local and Global: Religion in/and/around the Piraeus

4:15 – 5:00 Irene Polinskaya, King’s College London—Personal or Communal? Choice and Responsibility in Ancient Greek Religion

5:00 – 6:00 Concluding Discussion

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Centre For Classical And Near Eastern Studies Of Australia

Madsen Building (F09), Eastern Avenue, University of Sydney

Camperdown, NSW 2006


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