Greek and Roman Festivals Content, Meaning, and Practice

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  • Format: Hardcover
  • Copyright: 2012-10-25
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press

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Festivals were the heartbeat of Greek and Roman society and fulfilled significant roles in its social and political organization and within its institutions. Setting the rhythm of the year, festivals were a common denominator for a wide-ranging series of phenomena that concerned a large area of social relationships: social and political processes were formed, maintained, altered, and sanctioned through religious celebrations, as well as uniting the populace in common acts centred on common symbols. The study of religious festivals and the fundamental social functions which they filled can significantly expand our insights into understanding the Greco-Roman world, the social processes it went through, and the symbols it used.

Greek and Roman Festivals addresses the multi-faceted and complex nature of Greco-Roman festivals and analyses the connections that existed between them, as religious and social phenomena, and the historical dynamics that shaped them. The volume contains twelve articles which form an interdisciplinary perspective of classical scholarship, ranging from archaeology, history, and history of religions, to philology.

Author Biography

J. Rasmus Brandt is Professor in Classical Archaeology at the University of Oslo. He has participated and directed excavations in Norway, Cyprus, Italy, and at present in Turkey. He has published widely on both Greek and Roman archaeology and has directed two research projects financed by the Norwegian Research Council.

Jon W. Iddeng is an adviser for The Norwegian Association of Researchers and Research Fellow of Telemark University College. He has published internationally on Roman literature and history.

Table of Contents

List of Figures
Introduction: Some Concepts of Ancient Festivals Brandt, J. Rasmus & Jon W. Iddeng
1. What is a Greco-Roman Festival? A Polythetic Approach, Iddeng, Jon W.
2. Ancient Views on Festival: A Case of Near Eastern Mediterranean Koine, Burkert, Walter
3. Greek Festivals and the Ritual Process: An Inquiry into the Olympia-cum-Heraia and the Dionysia, Bouvrie, Synnove des
4. Pelops Joins the Party: Transformations of a Hero Cult within the Festival at Olympia, Ekroth, Gunnel
5. Content and Form: Some Considerations on Greek Festivals and Archaeology, Brandt, J. Rasmus
6. The Political Process in the Public Festival: The Panathenaic Festival of Athens, Neils, Jenifer
7. Talking of Festival: The Status of Choruses and Choregia, Scullion, Scott
8. Appended Festival: The Coordination and Combination of Traditional Civic and Ruler Cult Festivals in the Hellenistic and Roman East, Buraselis, Kostas
9. The Feriae Latinae, Smith, Christopher
10. The Festivals of the Forum Boarium Area: Reflections on the Construction of Complex Representations of Roman Identity, Scheid, John
11. Public and Publicity: Long-Term Changes in Religious Festivals during the Roman Republic, Rupke, Jorg
12. The Cult of the Great Mother in Imperial Rome: The Roman and the Foreign, Beard, Mary
General Index

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