THEORIA IN GREEK RELIGION What was the Greek for pilgrim? If there is no simple answer, the explanation is the great diversity of ancient pilgrimages and pilgrimage-related phenomena. People went to sanctuaries for all sorts of reasons: consulting oracles, attending festivals, making sacrifices, watching the Panhellenic games, or seeking a cure for illness; there were variations in the participants , and variations in the length of distance traversed to get to the sanctuary; finally, changes occurred in the shape of pilgrimage (...) over time: pilgrimage is not the same in the Hellenistic period as it is in the classical period, and pilgrimage in the Roman world is different again. If we limit our scope to state-pilgrimage and to the classical period, we find a special vocabulary for pilgrimage in the word θεωρός and its derivatives θεωρέω, θεωρία, and θεωρίς2. θεωρία is the normal term for state-pilgrimage, as we see in the famous introduction to Plato's Phaedo describing the Athenian pilgrimage to Delos. The corresponding term for a pilgrim is θεωρός, found first in Theognis , and frequently in the fifth century. The verb θεωρέω can mean ‘go on a pilgrimage to’, as in Thucydides' account of Ionian pilgrimage to the Delian festival . θεωρίς is the normal Attic term for a sacred ship used to convey sacred delegates to and from a sanctuary. One area where this family of words is never used is that of pilgrimage to healing sanctuaries; if we find any word used there, it is ἱκέτης, in later texts sometimes the neutral σνμϕοιτητής. (shrink)
Pindar must have narrated the myth of the birth of Apollo in many poems. We know of at least three, perhaps four versions: his only extant account of the birth itself is in Pa. XII; the latter of the two surviving sections of Pa. VIIb describes the flight of Asteria from Zeus, her transformation into an island and Zeus' desire to have Apollo and Artemis born there; the birth also seems to have been mentioned in the Hymn to Zeus immediately (...) after the address to Delos and the account of Delos being rooted to the sea-bed in fr. 33c–d; finally a source reports that according to Pindar Apollo passed from Delos to Delphi via Tanagra and this would probably have followed an account of the birth, though it could refer to a lost part of Pa. XII or the Hymn to Zeus. These accounts have never been the subject of systematic investigation, which is regrettable, because they make up an important aspect of Pindar's attitude to religion. In this preliminary study I focus on two interrelated aspects: the stance Pindar takes towards the Homeric Hymn to Apollo and the role he attributes to Zeus. (shrink)
This volume examines the cultural interaction between Greek and Egyptian culture, which can be traced in different forms over more than a millennium. Focusing in particular on literature and textual culture, chapters from leading experts cover a wide range of topics such as religion, philosophy, historiography, romance, and translation.
For at least a thousand years Greek cities took part in religious activities outside their territory by sending sacred delegates to represent them. The delegates are usually called theōroi, literally 'observers', and a delegation made up of theōroi, or the action of taking part in one, is called theōriā. This is the first comprehensive study of theōroi and theōriā. It examines a number of key functions of theōroi and explains who served in this role and what their activities are likely (...) to have been, both on the journey and at the sanctuary. Other chapters discuss the diplomatic functions of theōroi, and what their activities tell us about the origins of the notion of Greek identity and about religious networks. Chapters are also devoted to the reception of the notion of theōriā in Greek philosophy and literature. The book will be essential for all scholars and advanced students of ancient religion. (shrink)