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Cos: A Typical Example of Hellenistic Religion?

This essay has first been presented at the workshop « Approaches to Greek Cult », Institute for Classical Studies, London, March 2013. It is based on the conclusions of my book Cultes et sanctuaires de l’île de Cos (Liège 2013).

In the year 366 BC, various settlements of the island of Cos were united by synoecism to form a single polis. This political reform necessarily led to a reorganisation of older cults, including a reconfiguration of the local pantheon, which is evidenced in a number of inscriptions dated to the mid-fourth century BC. This reorganisation is the result of a careful blend of new cults and old traditions, aiming at providing all the members of the newly established polis with a shared religious identity.1 Consequently, the polis, its longevity, and its unity became a major concern that also reflected on religious representations, whether on the profile of certain deities, or on the orientation given to certain cults. Continuer la lecture de Cos: A Typical Example of Hellenistic Religion?

  1. For cult reorganisations after synoecisms, see recently Parker 2009. This essay is based on the conclusions of my book on the cults of the island of Cos: Paul 2013. []