Placing the Gods

Placing the Gods : Sanctuaries and Sacred Space in Ancient Greece

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No one disputes the centrality of cult activity in the lives of individuals and communities in ancient Greece. The significance of where people worshipped their gods has been far less acknowledged. In 1884 Francois de Polignac argued that the placing of cult centres played a major part in establishing the concept of the city-state in archaic Greece. The essays in this collection, headed by that of de Polignac himself in which he re-assesses his position, critically
examine the social and political importance of sanctuary placement, not only by re-examining the case of the archaic Greece discussed by de Polignac, but by extending analysis both back to Mycenaean times and onwards to Greece under Roman occupation. These essays reveal something of the complexity of
relations between religion and politics in ancient Greece, demonstrating how vital factors such as tradition, gender relations, and cult identity were in creating and maintaining the religious mapping of the Greek countryside.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 282 pages
  • 156 x 233 x 19mm | 439g
  • Clarendon Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reprint
  • black and white halftones, maps, line drawings, tables
  • 0198150601
  • 9780198150602
  • 624,178

Back cover copy

The essays critically the relationship between sanctuaries and political units in the Greek world over the best part of two millennia, both extending de Polignac's sort of analysis back and forward in time, and also assessing the limits of that analysis.
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Review quote

coherent, integrated, and explicitly theory-based collection of commissioned essays edited by Alcock and Osborne * P.A. Cartledge, Clare College, Cambridge, The International History Review, XVIII, 1: February 1996 * In its diversity and in its contradictions, this volume has the merit of tracing lines of study, of throwing out directions of inquiry, and of drawing together links which are all the more needed to link the social history of the Greek world to the practicalities of contemporary archaeology. * Alain Schnapp, Universite de Paris, Antiquity 71 (1997) * important collection * Oxbow Book News * this is a very good and useful collection of papers that go to make up an attractive and well-illustrated book...There are no bad papers in this volume. All contributions are accurate, scholarly and display a sound knowledge both of the relevant archeology and the relevant ancient authors...Ancient historians and classical archeologists would profit from reading it-but some prehistorians would perhaps profit even more.
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About Susan E. Alcock

Susan E. Alcock is Assistant Professor of Archaeology at the University of Michigan. Robin Osborne is University Lecturer in Ancient History, and Fellow and Tutor at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. Dr. Osborne also edited Ritual, Finance, Politics: Athenian Democratic Accounts Presented to David Lewis (OUP, 1995) with Simon Hornblower.
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Rating details

9 ratings
3.88 out of 5 stars
5 33% (3)
4 22% (2)
3 44% (4)
2 0% (0)
1 0% (0)
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