Religious networks in the archaic Aegean

Christy Constantakopoulou

in The Dance of the Islands

Published in print October 2007 | ISBN: 9780199215959
Published online January 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780191706868 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Classical Monographs

Religious networks in the archaic Aegean

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This chapter focuses on island interaction expressed in religious activities. Its starting point is the Calaurian amphictiony in the Saronic Gulf. It argues that the amphictiony had an 8th-century origin in cult activity in the sanctuary of Poseidon and had a strong maritime character, exemplified in the oracle recorded by Strabo instructing Poseidon to give up Delos and take Calauria instead. The maritime and insular character of the participants in the cult of Apollo at Delos is also stressed. Through a careful examination of the processes of monumentalisation of the sanctuary at Delos, and more particularly of the oikoi (treasuries), the chapter argues that the cult participants were predominantly island states. This should alter our understanding of Delos as essentially the cult centre of the Ionian world: rather communal investment in the sanctuary and its cult, revealed through the archaeological remains, belonged to the Aegean world and its islands, Ionian and Dorian alike.

Keywords: Calauria; Saronic Gulf; Delos; oikoi; treasuries; monumentalisation; cult of Apollo

Chapter.  12630 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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