Cultic Connections in the North Agean Region

Joint International Workshop

2017.06.28 | Anja Elley

Date Fri 22 Sep
Time 10:00 18:30
Location The AIAS Auditorium, Building 1632, Høegh-Guldbergs Gade 6B, 8000 Aarhus C

The Aegean Sea and its northern extension - the Thracian Sea – were vibrant areas of the ancient world. Numerous harbour-cities thrived, and the region gave birth to many important cult centres. This international one-day workshop focuses on the dynamics of cultic connections in the North Aegean from the Late Classical-Early Hellenistic periods to the Imperial Roman age. It traces cultic connections among the coastal regions (Greece, Macedonia, and Thrace), and islands surrounding these seas (Samothrace, Thasos, Imbros, and Lemnos). Literary and archaeological evidence demonstrate the importance gained by some of the sanctuaries in these areas. These sources also show that both ordinary and illustrious people and initiates who travelled to the sanctuaries from various parts of the Mediterranean, particularly from the regions of Thrace, Asia Minor, Macedonia, and Greece (such as Philip II who visited the Sanctuary of the Great Gods in Samothrace).

We aim to bring together scholars who are interested in exploring:

•Practices associated with cult and religion in relation to the historical, cultural and social context and the excavations of the sanctuaries in the north Aegean regions (including the problem of assigning functions to individual buildings, their architecture and decoration).

• The religious, social and political role and impact of the main cults and sanctuaries (i.e. the cult of the Great Gods in and outside of Samothrace) both in the Early Hellenistic and Roman periods; as well as continuities and changes in the transition of power during these periods.

• Alongside the recognized role played by the Macedonian agency in enhancing the status of the Sanctuary of the Great Gods at Samothrace, it would be interesting to explore: if and at what extent the Macedonians more generally played a role in disseminating North Aegean cults in the wake of their expansion during the 4th century BC; for example, possible acts of emulation by local dynasts in other areas (i.e. Thessaly and Thrace); as well as Greek models and influences.


10.00 Welcome by Morten Kyndrup, AIAS Director and the organizers

10.15 Opening Keynote: Bonna Wescoat, Samuel Candler Dobbs Professor of Art History and Director of Excavations in the Sanctuary of the Great Gods (Samothrace), Emory University, USA: Why Samothrace?

11.15 Coffee

11.45 Maria Chiara Monaco, Università degli Studi della Basilicata, Italy: The Great Gods of Lemnos in Classical and Hellenistic Periods: Myth and Cult Festivals

12.30 Consuelo Manetta, AIAS COFUND Junior Fellow, AIAS, Denmark, and Daniela Stoyanova, St. Kliment Ohridski University, Sofia, Bulgaria: The Sanctuary of the Great Gods in Seuthopolis, Thrace, in the Light of New Evidence

13.15 Lunch (speakers and discussants only)

14.15 Jacques des Courtils, Professor of Archaeology, Université Bordeaux Montaigne, France: The Sanctuaries of Thasos in Classical Times

15.00 Margarit Damyanov, National Institute of Archaeology with Museum, Bulgarian Academy of Sciences, Sofia, Bulgaria (presenting in absentia): Demeter in Apollonia Pontica: Connections to the Northern Aegean and beyond.

15.30 Coffee

16.00 Maria Stamatopoulou, Associate Professor of Classical Art and Archaeology, Oxford University, UK (title TBD)

16.45 Milena Melfi, Lecturer in Classical Art and Archaeology, New College, Oxford, UK: Polis Religion, Foreign Agency and Panhellenic Pursuits in the Sanctuaries of the Northern Aegean

17.30 Troels Myrup Kristensen, Associate Professor of Classical Archaeology, Aarhus University, Denmark: Cultic Connections and the Materialities of Ancient Mediterranean Pilgrimage

18.15 Responses: Jens Krasilnikoff, Associate Professor of Ancient History, Aarhus University, Denmark, and Armin Geertz, Professor of the History of Religion, Aarhus University, and Jens Chr. Skou Senior Fellow, AIAS, Denmark.

19.30 Dinner at Komfur, Guldsmedgade 38-40, 8000 Aarhus C (speakers and discussants only)

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Workshop, Historie og Klassiske Studier