Navigation – Plan du site

AccueilNuméros35Chronique des activités scientifi...Revue des LivresComptes rendus et notices bibliog...Griechische Heiligtümer als Handl...

Chronique des activités scientifiques
Revue des Livres
Comptes rendus et notices bibliographiques

Griechische Heiligtümer als Handlungsorte. Zur Multifunktionalität supralokaler Heiligtümer von der frühen Archaik bis in die römische Kaiserzeit

Ioannis Mylonopoulos
p. 341-347
Référence(s) :

Klaus Freitag, Matthias Haake (éd.), Griechische Heiligtümer als Handlungsorte. Zur Multifunktionalität supralokaler Heiligtümer von der frühen Archaik bis in die römische Kaiserzeit, Stuttgart, Steiner, 2019. 1 vol. 17 × 24 cm, viii+332 p. ISBN : 978-3-515-12389-1.

Texte intégral

  • 1 M. Haake and M. Jung (eds.), Griechische Heiligtümer als Erinnerungsorte. Von der Archaik bis in (...)

1The present volume originates in an international conference in honor of Peter Funke held in April 15–18, 2015 in the Villa Vigoni (Loveno di Menaggio, Italy). It consists of fifteen contributions—each one with its own bibliography—and concluding remarks that serve also as a kind of summary of the entire volume. There is no introduction setting up the aims and methodologies of the volume, only a two-page foreword (p. vii–viii) by the two editors. Although it is not stated explicitly, the volume seems to be a “natural” continuation of a volume on sanctuaries as lieux de mémoire published in 2006.1

  • 2 I think that in particular the sanctuaries in Olympia and Delphi are far more complex cases and t (...)
  • 3 If we accept this rather convincing suggestion, then we can also assume that the unpublished lead (...)
  • 4 There is an ongoing scholarly debate as to whether or not sanctuaries in general had their own ar (...)
  • 5 The A. does not mention the noteworthy exception of the Athenian Asklepieion founded at one of th (...)
  • 6 J. Riethmüller, Asklepios: Heiligtümer und Kulte, 2 vols., Heidelberg, 2005; M. Melfi, I santuari (...)
  • 7 I find the theory that the Heraion was originally dedicated primarily to Zeus (with Hera as his s (...)
  • 8 This scholarly hypothesis originates in the fact that the base of the famous Hermes statue was in (...)
  • 9 In his fig. 1 (p. 208), the A. reconstructs an additional statue of a “Römerin (?)” to the E. of (...)
  • 10 The initiators of this project seemed to have been at least aware of issues of iconography and po (...)

2The opening contribution by Matthias Haake (“Feiern, opfern, schänden, handeln, inszenieren … Supralokale Heiligtümer in der griechischen Welt als Handlungsorte — ein Aufriss”, p. 1–30) serves in a way as an introduction to the volume. In the first part, the A. offers a helpful albeit extremely brief overview of the presence of poets, philosophers, sophists, orators, and historians in Greek panhellenic sanctuaries (the A. does mention though Menedemos of Eretria in the Amphiareion of Oropos). In the second and more extensive part of his paper, the A. undertakes an attempt to explain the semantic and methodological use of the terms “supralokal ” and “Handlungsort”, which frame the contributions to the volume. While Greek sanctuaries as “playgrounds” for all sorts of political and religious activities are rather self-explanatory, the A. is not very precise in his definition of “supralokal” (esp. p. 11–12). One cannot but get the impression that for the A., sanctuaries that had an effect on their surrounding fabric beyond the realm of the polis, but were not considered panhellenic should be addressed as “supralokal ”. The breadth of such an almost all-encompassing use of the term “supralokal ” is in my view what in the end makes it less useful as a heuristic tool in our efforts to understand Greek sanctuaries: one way or the other, every Greek sanctuary could be viewed as “supralokal ”. — In his paper, Christoph Ulf (“Merkmale supralokaler und überregionaler Heiligtümer im Kontext der Formierung der Polis”, p. 31–56) touches upon several extremely important and complex issues that cannot possibly be dealt with in a single article. After questioning—like many before him—the unified and monolithic notion of Greek “people”, “identity”, “tradition”, and “religion”, the A. discusses the birth of settlements that would potentially develop into poleis or as an agglomeration of settlements into ethne. In particular with respect to the latter, he then addresses possible connections between ethne and supra-locally important sanctuaries. A large part of the contribution is dedicated to brief analyses of what according to the A. constitutes the characteristics of supra-local sanctuaries: contest, identity, and communication. Communication is in a way the focus of the brief concluding part of the contribution in which the A. hypothesizes that particularly significant supra-local sanctuaries are established in borderlands and especially in the area between the coast and the hinterlands of Asia Minor, the Aegean Sea, and the contact zones between the Athenian and the Spartan antagonistic spheres of influence. In the context of the latter, the A. seeks to find the explanation for the establishment of panhellenic sanctuaries at Olympia, Delphi, Isthmia, and Nemea.2 — Ioanna Patera offers in her paper (“Variations de la pratique sacrificielle dans les sanctuaires supra-locaux”, p. 57–74) a definition of what she considers a supra-local sanctuary: an amphictyonic, panhellenic, oracular, healing or any sacred site whose sphere of influence goes beyond a city or a region can be considered supra-local. In her view, Delphi could be seen as the example par excellence for sacrifices in such a cult place; here, as opposed to Olympia, the same altar served sacrifices that addressed all kinds of functions that the sanctuary had. Using the sanctuaries of Apollo Aktios in Akarnania and Apollo Ptoos in Boeotia as case studies, the A. raises also an interesting question as to what happens with sacrifices at a sacred site, if its status changes and it becomes one of supra-local importance. As one would expect, the development of the two sanctuaries into sites with a much broader geographical significance meant also a remarkable qualitative and quantitative elevation of the sacrifices that took place there. After a rather detailed description of the various forms of sacrifice at the Amphiareion of Oropos, the A. uses the sanctuary as an example in order to demonstrate how difficult it can be to clearly define supra-local sanctuaries as a (heuristic) category. For the sanctuaries of Artemis in Amarynthos, Poseidon in Isthmia, and Hera on Samos, the A. accepts previous theories that their monumentally long altars should be seen in the context of changes in the overall status of said cult sites. In the final part of her contribution, the A. addresses the issue of costliness for sacrifices in supra-local sanctuaries; here, she incorporates brief references to the sacrificial calendar of Mykonos (LSCG 96) and the Daidala festival in Boeotia. — After a brief introduction, in which Fritz Graf (“Lead Invocations in Greek Sanctuaries”, p. 75–86) problematizes ancient and modern terminologies about the objects that have been traditionally called “curse tables”, the A. suggests the use of a new term: lead invocations. Only in one over-regional sanctuary, that of Zeus in Nemea, have such lead invocations been found (a similar object from Isthmia remains unpublished). An important number of lead invocations have been found in so-called local sanctuaries, of which four were dedicated to Demeter (Corinth [18], Knidos [13], Morgantina [9], Selinus [13]) and one to Pankrates (Athens [1]). After stressing that more lead invocations have been excavated in locally significant cult sites than in supra-local sanctuaries, the A. emphasizes that such objects were found primarily in local sanctuaries, since over-regional cult places “were too much aloof from daily life”. Even for the case of Nemea, the A. suspects that the lead invocation should be associated not with Zeus, but with Opheltes/Archemoros.3 — After a brief introductory part, in which Klaus Freitag (“Griechische Heiligtümer als Handlungsorte und die Ausbildung von Wissenskulturen im antiken Griechenland”, p. 87–120) emphasizes that there was no theology in ancient Greece, the A. focuses on sanctuaries as spaces of action within the context of recent scholarly work on cultures of knowledge. Sanctuaries such as Delphi, Dodona, or Didyma were important centers in which knowledge was accumulated and whenever necessary put to use. Besides oracular shrines, healing sanctuaries were, according to the A., significant centers of knowledge. Focusing primarily on Olympia and to a lesser degree on Delphi, Delos, and Isthmia, the A. reiterates that panhellenic sanctuaries or such with panhellenic appeal were often the stage for public appearances of intellectuals. According to the A., sanctuaries such as Delphi, the Athenian Metroon, perhaps Olympia, and the Asklepieia of Epidauros, Kos, and Trikka had extensive archives (beyond any publicly set-up inscriptions).4 The A. emphasizes both literary and epigraphic sources that attest to the fact that several sanctuaries were seen as places for the safe-keeping of literary texts: from the Hellenistic period on, an increasing number of sanctuaries had impressive libraries, often funded by royal patrons. The A. remains skeptical as to whether or not sanctuaries could be called “active institutions of knowledge”, but they definitely played an important role in shaping cultures of knowledge. — Marie-Kathrin Drauschke’s contribution (“Die gemeinsame Aufstellung zwischenstaatlicher Vertragsurkunden (koinê stelê)”, p. 121–136) focuses on the term “koine stele” that can be found in ten treaties between individual cities or between “ethnic” groups. The treaties are either literarily (two) or epigraphically (eight) attested. The A. demonstrates that such documents were jointly set up by the signing parties in sanctuaries of panhellenic (Delphi, Dodona, Olympia) or at least over-regional significance. — In his contribution, Angelos Chaniotis (“Display and Arousal of Emotions in Panhellenic Sanctuaries in the Shadow of Rome”, p. 137–154) discusses emotions in supra-local sanctuaries focusing in particular on “the role of oral communication in emotional arousal and display” from the early second century BCE on, when Romans became an additional and important part of this form of communication. The A., however, relies heavily on evidence from panhellenic sanctuaries, such as Delphi, Isthmia, Olympia, and Epidauros. His approach exemplifies a basic issue with the heuristic starting point of the entire volume: what exactly is a supra-local sanctuary? — In the introductory part of his contribution, Kai Trampedach (“Der Gott verteidigt sein Heiligtum in Delphi (nicht)”, p. 155–173) argues rather unconvincingly against the idea that the Delphic priesthood played a significantly influential role in Greek politics from the Greek colonization on. According to the A., Delphi was throughout its history an impartial religious institution. The A. then explores a series of more or less wondrous stories that describe Apollo’s divine interventions whenever the safety of the god’s sanctuary was in severe danger. It should come as no surprise that the A. argues that the stories were Delphic constructs. — Although Clarisse Prêtre raises at the beginning of her paper (“Diaphonie et symphonie. La propagande polyphonique du sanctuaire d’Asklépios à Épidaure”, p. 175–185) a very important question about the placement of Asklepieia in the Greek world and the preference shown towards extra- or peri-urban localities,5 she then focuses almost exclusively on the Epidaurian iamata. In separate brief sections, the A. attempts to discern the “voices” of the editors, the god (Asklepios), and the patients in these intriguing documents. I cannot but note that the bibliography cited by the A. is painfully short, only six titles are mentioned, while the A. chose to ignore two truly monumental publications on the sanctuaries of Asklepios in the Greek world by Jürgen Riethmüller and Milena Melfi.6 — In her contribution, Vinciane Pirenne-Delforge (“The Politics of Olympus at Olympia”, p. 187–205) discusses spatial changes in the sanctuary of Olympia between the early sixth and the late fifth century BCE, which she attempts to associate with narratives surrounding the various foundation myths of the sanctuary. More specifically, the A. wishes to place said changes in the broader context of the girl-races in honor of Hera by illuminating the geographical origins of the attendees. After a brief reference to the interconnections between Olympus, Olympios, and Olympia, the A. links some of the major architectural alterations that took place towards the end of the seventh century BCE with the growing influence and ultimately control of the Eleians over the sanctuary. The A. discusses briefly some of the oldest buildings in the sanctuary and associates the Heraion from the very beginning with the cult of Hera.7 Then the A. narrates the early mytho-history of the sanctuary as it was understood and preserved in Pausanias’ work. Through the myth of Hippodameia, the A. comes to discuss the Heraia and the puzzling foot-race for girls. The A. emphasizes that many significant details about the girls’ race were omitted by the ancient periegetes, so that many scholars have debated for decades whether or not the Heraia were a panhellenic or a rather local festival and the girls’ race a local (initiation?) ritual or the modest counterpart of the panhellenic games for Zeus. The A. suggests convincingly that the festival and the race were regional venues situated firmly within the local layer of the panhellenic sanctuary of Olympia. — In his paper, Tonio Hölscher (“Die Statuenausstattung des Heraion von Olympia. Museum für Bildungsreisende oder Rahmen für Kulte von Frauen?”, p. 207–225) discusses an interesting passage in Pausanias’ Olympia account, where the ancient author lists a number of statues erected in the cella of the Heraion (5.17.1–4). The A. offers a reconstruction of these statues’ placement based on the presumption that they all stood in the intercolumnia of the two interior colonnades of the temple. There are some issues with the reconstruction offered by the A.: 1) Although Pausanias makes some spatial comments (Apollo stood opposite Artemis, Demeter sat opposite Kore, Themis stood next to the Horai), nowhere does he mention that the statues were placed in the intercolumnia.8 2) Pausanias mentions 16 statues (among them two statue groups) and an additional Early Imperial statue of a priestess was found with its base still in situ between the first and second column of the N. inner colonnade. There are though “only” 16 intercolumnia available.9 3) In order to accommodate the placement of all images mentioned by Pausanias in the intercolumnia of the cella, the A. needs to hypothesize that the statue groups of the Horai (unknown number) and the (five, according to Pausanias) Hesperides were under-life sized, making the overall appearance of what seems to have been a single project of gathering statues from all over the sanctuary and setting them up in the cella of the Heraion visually rather problematic.10 Although I do agree with the A.’s suggestion that there must have been an overall female theme behind the collection and rearrangement of all these statues in the Heraion, the concrete idea of a concept that sought to bring together “die Altersstufen und die zentralen Aspekte des weiblichen Geschlechts in archetypischen Gestalten” seems less convincing. The A. convincingly argues for the presence of divine mothers, sisters, and daughters closer to the cult statue, but as we move towards the eastern part of the cella, Dionysos becomes more prominent. The A. is right in emphasizing the general importance of Dionysos in Elis and the role women played in his cult, but the statues of Tyche and a winged Nike cannot be easily associated either with Dionysos or female archetypes and “Altersstufen”. — Sebastian Scharff (“In Olympia siegen. Elische Athleten des 1. Jahrhunderts v. Chr. und die Frage nach der Attraktivität der Olympischen Spiele im späten Hellenismus”, p. 227–249) discusses in his contribution the degree of international appeal the Olympic games had in the first century BCE. The A. expresses from the very beginning his strong skepticism towards the widespread scholarly assumption that the Late Hellenistic period was a time of decline for Olympia and its games. Methodologically, the A. proceeds in an admirably clean way: he first addresses and successfully deconstructs evidence (primarily literary sources and to a lesser degree archaeological and epigraphic material) that was used in the past in order to demonstrate Olympia’s decline in the first century BCE. The A. then continues with an analysis of the evidence (emphasis is given to Cicero, Pausanias, and Strabo) that would support his argument that Olympia did not experience any decline. In the final part of his contribution, the A. focuses on the remarkably high number of winners from Elis in horse- and chariot-races in the first century BCE. He convincingly shows that this number is not a testimony to the almost exclusively local appeal of the games and thus to their decline, but rather demonstrates the increased interest of the Eleian elite in horses and horse-racing in this period of time. The numerous Eleian victories—used in the past by scholars as an argument for Olympia’s decline in the Late Hellenistic period—attest additionally to the very strong local importance of the sanctuary and do not diminish the Olympic games’ international attractivity in this period of time. — Using the sanctuary of Apollo Aktios and its festival Aktia as his primary example, Alain Bresson (“Slaves, Fairs and Feats. Western Greek Sanctuaries as Hubs of Social Interaction”, p. 251–277) discusses the role of sanctuaries in general and of western sanctuaries in particular in the trade of slaves, which often took place at fairs associated with festivities of over-regional character. Slavery could be ended through manumission and inscriptions documenting this act publicly have been found all over Western Greece and the Greek coastal cities of Illyria. Many such inscriptions were set up in public spaces, but a number of inscribed documents (not all necessarily in the form of stone inscriptions) were excavated in sanctuaries (Dodona, sanctuary of Zeus in Stratos). The A. makes a strong case for sanctuaries in Western Greece playing an important role both in sales and manumissions of slaves because of the particular economic, social, and political realities in this region where fairs took place during important festivals in over-regional sanctuaries. In a way, these sanctuaries functioned as quasi economic hubs “in the complex network of trans-’ethnic’ and trans-civic connections”. Still, some of the tablets from Dodona preserve more private insights into slavery and its connection to Western Greek sanctuaries, as they occasionally attest to actual fears of both slaves and slave-owners. — Based primarily on the numerous manumission inscriptions from Delphi, Andrew Lepke (“Vor fremden Göttern? Religiöse Handlungs- und Repräsentationsorte im Spiegel der Freilassungsinschriften des 2. Jahrhunderts v. Chr.”, p. 279–302) discusses the sphere of influence of sacred sites that played a role in the act of freeing a slave. It comes as no surprise that in Delphi a large number of non-locals publicized the freeing of their slaves. To a lesser degree, a similar situation can be observed in Western Greek sanctuaries, such as those of Aphrodite Syria in Phystion and Athena Ilias in Physkeis. Sanctuaries, such as the one of Apollo in Phaistinos or of Asklepios in Bouttos attracted manumitters on a more local level. The majority of manumitters, however, preferred, according to the A., sanctuaries associated with their own cities or collectives. — Based on the relevant epigraphic dossiers, Katharina Knäpper (“ ‘With a Little Help from my Friends’ oder das Asyliederby zwischen Magnesia am Mäander und Milet”, p. 303–321) focuses on the attempt the citizens of Magnesia on the Maeander undertook in late third and early second century BCE to have their city, its territories, and the sanctuary of Artemis Leukophryene recognized as places of asylia. This attempt faced the competing endeavor of the Milesians to do the same for their city, its territories, and the sanctuary of Apollo Didymaios. Additionally, Magnesia and Miletos were trying to have the athletic competitions at the festivals of Artemis and Apollo accepted as agones stephanitai. Among the arguments used by both cities were such closely associated with the importance and ancientness of the cults (and sanctuaries) involved. — In his concluding remarks (p. 323–330), Robert Parker captures some of the most important results of the individual papers and offers at the same time important critical remarks on the category of supra-local sanctuaries, a category which he addresses as “a fuzzy one”. Only rarely, for example, were xenoi excluded from performing at least basic rituals in sanctuaries, so that the A. is right in emphasizing that every sacred site could be considered “potentially not just supra-local but even panhellenic”. Specific activities and functions could enhance the supra-local appeal of a sanctuary, such as “athletic and musical festivals, healing, oracles, initiation to mysteries, markets and commerce more generally […] regional or amphictyonic political assemblies, manumission”. I fully agree with the A. that even within the “fuzzy” frame of supra-locality, border sanctuaries should be seen as a special case “deserving separate study”.

  • 11 Fr. de Polignac, La Naissance de la cité grecque. Cultes, espace et société, viiieviie siècles a (...)

3Despite all critical remarks, one has to emphasize that the individual papers are excellent starting points for further exploring a rich variety of subjects from slave trade to emotions and Greek sanctuaries. The primary problem of the volume is thus not the individual contributions, but the lack of a clear frame that would have positioned the publication as a whole at the beginning of an invaluable process of re-thinking our approach(es) to Greek sanctuaries. It is not enough to propose a new term like “supra-local”, if the term remains “a fuzzy one” even after reading through the entire volume. Further light on the dynamic nature of locality, supra-locality, over-regionality, and even panhellenism would have been perhaps more helpful, and some papers and especially Robert Parker’s concluding remarks are certainly pointing in this direction. In my view, the study of Greek sanctuaries is not so much in need of new terms and terminologies, but rather of a better understanding of the inherent fluidity of the terms already in use. Nonetheless, what the present volume clearly demonstrates is that almost 40 years after the first publication of François de Polignac’s seminal book,11 the spatial turn in the study of Greek sanctuaries continues to inspire researchers to scholarly work of the highest quality.

Haut de page

Notes

1 M. Haake and M. Jung (eds.), Griechische Heiligtümer als Erinnerungsorte. Von der Archaik bis in den Hellenismus, Stuttgart, 2006. See my review of the volume in Athenaeum 102–2 (2014), p. 659–663.

2 I think that in particular the sanctuaries in Olympia and Delphi are far more complex cases and their establishment cannot be adequately explained on the rather simplistic basis of a “dialogue” between Athenian and Spartan spheres of influence, which cannot account, for example, for the obvious hierarchy within the group of the panhellenic sites. However, this is not the place to expand on my own ideas on the issue.

3 If we accept this rather convincing suggestion, then we can also assume that the unpublished lead invocation from Isthmia should be associated with Melikertes/Palaimon.

4 There is an ongoing scholarly debate as to whether or not sanctuaries in general had their own archives; I think that it would be safe to assume that most, if not all, sanctuaries had their own archives.

5 The A. does not mention the noteworthy exception of the Athenian Asklepieion founded at one of the most conspicuous localities of ancient Athens.

6 J. Riethmüller, Asklepios: Heiligtümer und Kulte, 2 vols., Heidelberg, 2005; M. Melfi, I santuari di Asclepio in Grecia, Rome, 2007.

7 I find the theory that the Heraion was originally dedicated primarily to Zeus (with Hera as his synnaos) and that it started housing the cult of Hera exclusively only after the erection of the Classical temple most intriguing. It is a rather old theory revived by A. Moustaka, “Zeus und Hera im Heiligtum von Olympia”, in H. Kyrieleis (ed.), Olympia 1875–2000. 125 Jahre deutsche Ausgrabungen, Mainz, 2002, p. 301–316.

8 This scholarly hypothesis originates in the fact that the base of the famous Hermes statue was indeed found between the second and the third column of the N inner colonnade.

9 In his fig. 1 (p. 208), the A. reconstructs an additional statue of a “Römerin (?)” to the E. of the first column of the N. inner colonnade.

10 The initiators of this project seemed to have been at least aware of issues of iconography and posture: a standing Artemis complemented the standing Apollo and a seated Demeter was placed opposite a seated Kore.

11 Fr. de Polignac, La Naissance de la cité grecque. Cultes, espace et société, viiieviie siècles avant J.-C., Paris, 1984.

Haut de page

Pour citer cet article

Référence papier

Ioannis Mylonopoulos, « Griechische Heiligtümer als Handlungsorte. Zur Multifunktionalität supralokaler Heiligtümer von der frühen Archaik bis in die römische Kaiserzeit »Kernos, 35 | 2022, 341-347.

Référence électronique

Ioannis Mylonopoulos, « Griechische Heiligtümer als Handlungsorte. Zur Multifunktionalität supralokaler Heiligtümer von der frühen Archaik bis in die römische Kaiserzeit »Kernos [En ligne], 35 | 2022, mis en ligne le 01 février 2024, consulté le 19 mai 2024. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/kernos/4290 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/kernos.4290

Haut de page

Auteur

Ioannis Mylonopoulos

Columbia University

Articles du même auteur

Haut de page

Droits d’auteur

CC-BY-NC-ND-4.0

Le texte seul est utilisable sous licence CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. Les autres éléments (illustrations, fichiers annexes importés) sont « Tous droits réservés », sauf mention contraire.

Haut de page
Rechercher dans OpenEdition Search

Vous allez être redirigé vers OpenEdition Search