Religion, History and Society in the Ancient Greek World
In a famous passage of his Histories (8.144), Herodotus defines “Greekness” (“Hellenicity” τὸ Ἑλληνικόν) as constituted by kinship of blood and language, shared sanctuaries and rites, as well as by similarity in custom and way of life. This discussion, attributed to the Athenians during the Persian wars, attests to the importance of religion in all of its declensions, from panhellenic festivals to steps taken by cities in propitiating deities, to more humble offerings made by families or individuals fordefining Greek identity.
The analysis of the whole multiplicity of cultic actions and representations produced by ancient Greek communities is the focus of the chair held by Vinciane Pirenne-Delforge and is divided into three areas of investigation:
- the representation of the divine and the mechanisms of Greek polytheism (various collaborations with Gabriella Pironti, Director of study at the EPHE, and with the “Thiasos” team at the University of Liège: Stefano Caneva, Hélène Collard, postdocotral researchers at the F.R.S.-FNRS)
- gods and beasts: the question of the choice of sacrificial animals (PhD of Zoé Pitz at the University of Liège, “Thiasos” team)
- epigraphic ritual norms (the Collection of Greek Ritual Norms project, in collaboration with Jan-Mathieu Carbon and Saskia Peels).