Public and Publicity

Jörg Rüpke

in Greek and Roman Festivals

Published in print August 2012 | ISBN: 9780199696093
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780191745744 | DOI:
Public and Publicity

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This chapter puts forward the claim that the character of public festivals changed during the Roman Republic. The growth of the city, its increasing number of inhabitants, sanctuaries and temples (and hence festivals), made modifications necessary for the organizers of specific festivals to attract sufficient attention amidst the expanding multitude. To achieve this required greater space availability for processional rites, more festival days, new ritual forms, in particular ‘games’, as well as using increasing numbers of professionals (actors, charioteers, fighters, etc.). Finally, the notion of what ‘public’ itself means is considered against the backdrop of the social composition and political functioning of the Roman Republic. ‘Distinction and control’ rather than central steering are identified as the forces behind the process examined here.

Keywords: attention; control; distinction; festival days; games; processional space; professionals; ritual forms

Chapter.  6961 words. 

Subjects: Religion in the Ancient World

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