Cult and Identity in the Far West: Phokaians, Ionians, and Hellenes

Irad Malkin

in A Small Greek World

Published in print November 2011 | ISBN: 9780199734818
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918553 | DOI:

Series: Greeks Overseas

Cult and Identity in the Far West: Phokaians, Ionians, and Hellenes

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Self-aware networks of cults articulated circles of collective identity: the polis (here Phokaia), region (Ionia, the West), the subethnic “Phokaian” (Greeks in the west), “Ionian,” and the “Greek.” The Ionians in Asia Minor came there from the west; in the sixth century, facing Lydians and Persians, they considered going west (Sardinia). Movement and distance consolidate wider networks of belonging. The Phokaians established Apollo Delphinios in Massalia, to be common to all Ionians while expressing the opening of a “new land” for Greeks. Artemis Ephesia was also Anatolian (mother of the gods? Cybele?), her statue was aboriginal (the Amazons), and she was worshipped in Lydian Sardis. She was also the Ionian hegemônê, leader, with a pan-Ionian status particularly at Ephesos. An “Oriental” goddess now moved to the West with the Phokaians, and an Ephesian priestess, placed on promontories (“daylight houses), disseminated (exceptional in Greek religion) among non-Greeks (Iberians, Ligurians, Celts, and Romans), while copying her cult statue and rites. Her cult was part of an identifying set of nomima (with an excursus) taught “in the Greek way” (hellenisti). The Roman adoption of her statue (Aventine Diana) and dedications in the Massaliot treasury at the Panhellenic Delphi illustrate the intermeshing and widening of networks.

Keywords: Artemis of Ephesos; Apollo Delphinios; Ionians; Delphi; nomima; Phokaia; Massalia; Greek cult; priestess; Rome

Chapter.  17467 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Classical History

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