New publication on the topic of Greek religion in Cos:
S. Paul, Cultes et sanctuaires de l’île de Cos, Liège, 2013 (Kernos, suppl. 28)
En 366 avant notre ère, les différentes communautés de l’île de Cos s’unissent en une seule cité, dont le centre urbain, nommé Cos par homonymie avec l’île, sera fondé sur la pointe nord-est. Ce changement politique a profondément marqué le paysage religieux de l’île, en réorganisant les cultes et en reconfigurant le panthéon. Par un savant mélange entre nouveaux cultes et traditions ancestrales, cette réforme donnait à la communauté nouvellement constituée la cohésion d’une identité religieuse partagée. Par la suite, l’inscription de nombreuses réglementations cultuelles et l’importante activité édilitaire dans les sanctuaires, poursuivies au moins jusqu’au ier siècle avant notre ère, attestent la vitalité des cultes de cette cité à la période hellénistique. Une telle abondance documentaire fait de l’île de Cos un lieu idéal pour étudier les pratiques religieuses des anciens Grecs et pour interpréter le polythéisme grec à l’échelle locale, en illustrant à la fois la richesse, la complexité et la dynamique des panthéons régionaux.
Une publication qui pourrait passer sous le radar se trouve actuellement sur le site du Packard Humanities Institute. Il s’agit du compte-rendu des fouilles d’urgence effectuées par l’université d’Oxford à Zeugma. Trois volumes sont disponibles et contiennent plusieurs chapitres intéressants (en pdf), notamment sur les mosaïques et les inscriptions du site; consulter http://zeugma.packhum.org/index
En particulier, on pourra signaler la republication par C. Crowther de nouvelles inscriptions relatives au culte d’Antiochos I de Commagène, qui possédait un témènos à Zeugma (elles était déjà reprises dans SEG LIII 1769-1771):
New publication on the topic of Ptolemaic queenship:
Berenice II and the Golden Age of Ptolemaic Egypt
D.L. Clayman (Graduate Center of CUNY)
A mother of six, immensely wealthy and ambitious, Berenice II, daughter of King Magas of Cyrene and wife of Ptolemy III Euergetes, came to embody all the key religious, political, and artistic ideals of Ptolemaic Alexandria. Through she arrived there nearly friendless, with the taint of murder around her, she became one of the most accomplished and powerful of the Macedonian queens descended from the successors of Alexander the Great. Rather exceptionally, she was at the center of a group of important poets and intellectuals associated with the Museum and Library, not the least of which was Callimachus, the most important poet of the age. These men wrote poems not just for her, but about her, and their eloquent voices projected her charisma widely across the Greek-speaking world.
New publication on the topic of cultural contacts and identity in the Hellenistic world:
Belonging and Isolation in the Hellenistic World
Edited by Sheila L. Ager, Riemer and A. Faber (University of Waterloo)
The Hellenistic period was a time of unprecedented cultural exchange. In the wake of Alexander’s conquests, Greeks and Macedonians began to encounter new peoples, new ideas, and new ways of life; consequently, this era is generally considered to have been one of unmatched cosmopolitanism. For many individuals, however, the broadening of horizons brought with it an identity crisis and a sense of being adrift in a world that had undergone a radical structural change. Belonging and Isolation in the Hellenistic World presents essays by leading international scholars who consider how the cosmopolitanism of the Hellenistic age also brought about tensions between individuals and communities, and between the small local community and the mega-community of oikoumene, or ‘the inhabited earth.’ With a range of social, artistic, economic, political, and literary perspectives, the contributors provide a lively exploration of the tensions and opportunities of life in the Hellenistic Mediterranean.
New publication on the topic of festivals, victory and processions:
Rituals of Triumph in the Mediterranean World
Edited by A. Spalinger and J. Armstrong, University of Auckland
Societies, both ancient and modern, have frequently celebrated and proclaimed their military victories through overt public demonstrations. In the ancient world, however, the most famous examples of this come from a single culture and period – Rome in the final years of the Roman Republic and early Roman Empire – while those from other cultures – such as Egypt, Greece, Neo-Assyria, and indeed other periods of Roman history – are generally unexplored. The aim of this volume is to present a more complete study of this phenomenon and offer a series of cultural reactions to successful military actions by various peoples of the ancient Mediterranean world, illustrating points of similarity and diversity, and demonstrating the complex and multifaceted nature of this trans-cultural practice.
New publication on the topic of Hellenistic queenship:
Arsinoe of Egypt and Macedon
A Royal Life
E. Carney, Clemson University
The life of Arsinoë II (c. 316-c.270 BCE), daughter of Ptolemy Soter, the founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty, is characterized by dynastic intrigue. Her marriage to her full brother Ptolemy II, king of Egypt, was the first of the sibling The life of Arsinoë II (c. 316-c.270 BCE), daughter of the founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty, is characterized by dynastic intrigue. Her marriage to her full brother Ptolemy II, king of Egypt, was the first of the sibling marriages that became a dynastic feature of the Ptolemies. With Ptolemy II, she ended her days in great wealth and power. However, prior to that point she was forced to endure two tumultuous marriages, both of which led her to flee for her life. Arsinoë was the model for the powerful role Ptolemaic women gradually acquired as co-rulers of their empire, and her image continued to play a role in dynastic solidarity for centuries to come. Although Arsinoë was the pivotal figure in the eventual evolution of regnal power for Ptolemaic women–and despite a considerable body of recent scholarship across many fields relevant to her life–there has been no up-to-date biography in English of her life. Elizabeth Donnelly Carney, in sifting through the available archaeological and literary evidence, offers here an accessible and reasoned portrait. In describing Arsinoë’s significant role in the courts of Thrace and Alexandria, Carney weaves discussions of earlier Macedonian royal women, the institution of sibling marriage, and the reasons for its longstanding success in Hellenistic Egypt, ultimately providing an expansive view of this integral Hellenistic figure.
We would like to draw attention to this new publication on the topic of purity and religious traditions in the Ancient Mediterranean World. Despite the large scope of this work, many contributions deal with purity in the Greek world. Great attention deserves also the contribution of J.F. Quack on purity in Egyptian religion, which will suscitate the interest of scholars in Hellenistic and particularly Ptolemaic religion.
Purity and the Forming of Religious Traditions in the Ancient Mediterranean World and Ancient Judaism
Edited by Christian Frevel (Universität Bonn) and Christophe Nihan (Université de Lausanne)
Purity is a cultural construct that had a central role in the forming and the development of religious traditions in the ancient Mediterranean. This volume analyzes concepts, practices and images associated with purity in the main cultures of Antiquity, and discusses from a comparative perspective their parallel developments and transformations. The perspective adopted is both synchronic and diachronic; the comparative approach takes into account points of contact and mutual influences, but also includes major transcultural trends. A number of renowned specialists contribute a large variety of perspectives and approaches, combining archaeology, epigraphy and social history; in addition, particular attention is given to concepts of purity in ancient Israel and early Judaism as a ‘test-case’ of sorts. Through its extensive coverage, the volume contributes decisively to the present discussion about the forming of religious traditions in the ancient Mediterranean world.
New publication on the topic of honours in Hellenistic cities:
Statues and Cities
Honorific Portraits and Civic Identity in the Hellenistic World
John Ma, Corpus Christi College, Oxford
Why say thank you with a portrait statue? This book combines two different and quite specialized fields, archaeology and epigraphy, to explore the phenomenon of portraits in ancient art within the historical and anthropological context of city-states honouring worthy individuals through erecting statues, and the development of families imitating this practice.
This transaction tells us a lot about the history of these cities and how ancient art worked as a construction of relations during the Hellenistic period (c. 350 BC- c. AD 1), which is marked by a political culture of civic devotion, common decision making, and publicness.
As honorific statues were considered public art, the volume also investigates the workings of images, representations, memory, and the monumental public form of permanent inscription, to see what stories the Hellenistic city-states can reveal about themselves.