Thessalian Perceptions of Ruler Cult:

Sophia Kravaritou

in Epigraphical Approaches to the Post-classical Polis

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199652143
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745935 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in Ancient Documents

Thessalian Perceptions of Ruler Cult:

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It is generally assumed that a cult of the archegetai and ktistai was established in Demetrias, sometime after the synoecism of the Magnesian communities by Demetrios Poliorketes in the beginning of the third century bc. Yet the whole theory has been based on rather shaky ground. Thus, a reconsideration of our only solid pieces of evidence is needed. IG IX.2, 1099b and Mc Devitt no. 1030A and B are Hellenistic fragmentary inscriptions which mention the archegetai and ktistai and which were originally published about a century ago. This chapter offers a re-examination of these documents along with an English translation, and makes new suggestions on earlier readings, especially on the issue of the location and the recipients of this cult, in the light of recent epigraphic and archaeological material. In addition, it provides a commentary on important geographic and religious terms. Last, the character, the role, as well as the religious and social background of this Thessalian post-classical polis cult — a cult established in the context of Macedon's supremacy — is discussed in order to trace elements of the construction of the religious and social memory of Demetrias. These two inscriptions, issued by the demes of Demetrias, show ways by which the identities of the Macedonian Demetrias and of the local Magnesian synoecised communities were strongly negotiated through cult.

Keywords: archegetai and ktistai; cult; demes; Demetrias; Demetrios Poliorketes; identities; synoecism

Chapter.  9042 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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