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Networks and narratives: a model for ancient Greek religion?

This paper uses a social network theory to examine the role of individuals in ancient Greek religion. Drawing on the work of Harrison White, it argues that individuals in different settings negotiate different identities, creating networks of
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  Revue internationale et pluridisciplinaire de religion grecque antique Διεθνής και διεπιστημονική επιθεώρηση της αρχαίας ελληνικής θρησκείας Centre international d’étude de la religion grecque antique  Αθήνα – Liège 24 (2011)  ;ernos   9 =90//>, p. !$8. 0et1or2s ad 0arrati!es3  A 4odel "or Aciet Gree2 Religio U    Abstract  1olis   re3iCi"n has ec":e the d":inant :"de3 B"r the descripti"n "B rit%a3 acti4it* in ancient Gree@ c"::%nities. Indeed, sch"3ars ha4e in4"@ed  ,olis   re3iCi"n t" tr* t" res"34e the :%chdeated -%esti"n "B the deBiniti"n "B :aCic vs  re3iCi"n, arC%inC that partic%3ar :aCica3 practices, and their practiti"ners, d" n"t e3"nC t" c"33ecti4e  ,olis   re3iCi"n. "We4er, the re3ati"nship t"  ,olis   re3iCi"n "B a :aCica3 practice s%ch as the WritinC "B indinC spe33s is s%re3* :"re a:iC%"%s, as We33 as "B "ther c%3t acti4it* re3atinC =in  4ari"%s Wa*s> t" the W"rship "B Di"n*s"s. F%rther ea:inati"n s%CCests that deBininC What it :eans B"r rit%a3 acti4it* t" e inteCrated Within the sche:a "B  ,olis re3iCi"n ec":es increasinC3* diBBic%3t as We ea:ine the 4ariet* "B c%3t "rCanisati"ns and the diBBerent 3e4e3s and t*pes "B in4"34e:ent * the  ,olis  . This paper arC%es that s"cia3 netW"r@ the"r* :a* e a3e t" "4erc":e these c"ncept%a3 diBBic%3ties   This appr"ach can "BBer an a3ternati4e, :"re B3%id c"nstr%cti"n "B ancient Gree@ re3iCi"n, Which a33"Ws %s t" ta@e acc"%nt "B c"eistinC, s":eti:es "4er3appinC, netW"r@s "B rit%a3 acti4ities. Résumé   La  ,olis religion   est de4en%e 3e :"d;3e d":inant p"%r décrire 3acti4ité rit%e33e des c"::%na%tés de 3a Gr;ce anti-%e. En Bait, 3es cherche%rs "nt in4"-%é cette n"ti"n p"%r tenter de rés"%dre 3a -%esti"n tr;s déatt%e de 3a déBiniti"n de 3a  :aCie S en reCard de 3a  re3iCi"n S, en ass%:ant -%e 3es prati-%es :aCi-%es et 3e%rs acte%rs nappartenaient pas  3a re3iCi"n c"33ecti4e de 3a  ,olis  . Néan:"is, 3a re3ati"n entre  ,olis religion   et prati-%e  :aCi-%e S c"::e 3écrit%re de defiUiones  , est certaine:ent p3%s c":p3ee, t"%t a%tant -%e da%tres acti4ités c%3t%e33es, c"::e ce33es -%i re3;4ent d% c%3te de Di"n*s"s, et ce de di4erses :ani;res. )n ea:en appr"B"ndi :"ntre -%i3 de4ient diBBici3e de déBinir ce -%e ce3a s%pp"se, p"%r %ne acti4ité rit%e33e, dtre intéCrée a% sché:a de 3a  ,olis religion   -%and "n ana3*se 3a 4ariété des "rCanisati"ns c%3t%e33es et 3es diBBérents ni4ea% et t*pes di:p3icati"n de 3a  ,olis  . 2et artic3e :"ntre -%e 3a social network theory   per:et de dépasser ces diBBic%3tés c"ncept%e33es. )ne te33e appr"che "BBre %ne c"nstr%cti"n a3ternati4e, p3%s B3%ide, de 3a re3iCi"n Crec-%e anti-%e, en per:ettant de prendre en c":pte des résea% dacti4ités rit%e33es -%i c"eistent et se rec"%4rent parB"is. U  An initia3 4ersi"n "B this paper Was Ci4en at a c"nBerence in h"n"%r "B 2hristiane +"%r4in"%InW""d he3d at ReadinC in 9008X a sec"nd 4ersi"n at a c"nBerence "n c"::%nities and netW"r@s in the ancient Gree@ W"r3d at )ni4ersit* 2"33eCe D%3in a *ear 3ater. The paper has een Creat3* i:pr"4ed * c"::ents Br": attendees at "th c"nBerences, and in partic%3ar * the detai3ed readinC "B 23aire Ta*3"r, 1"stas V3ass"p"%3"s, R"in Os"rne, +i:"n "rn3"Wer, and the reBerees "B ;ernos  .  /0 E. E IDINO    Itroductio3 Thras5llos* a E6ample The s%ect "B Is"crates speech, the  Aeginetikos'  is the riChtB%3 inheritance "B a 3arCe s%: "B :"ne*. The s"n "B a :an ca33ed Thras*33"s, a +iphnian Br": the 2*c3ades, is deBendinC his inheritance Br": the c3ai:s "B a ha3Bsister. In the c"%rse "B this speech, We 3earn a"%t the raCst"riches 3iBe st"r* "B Thras*33"s hi:se3B Thras*33"s, the Bather "B the testat"r, had inherited n"thinC Br": his parentsX %t ha4inC ec":e the C%estBriend "B P"3e:aenet"s, the s""thsa*er, he eca:e s" inti:ate With hi: that P"3e:aenet"s at his death 3eBt t" hi: his ""@s "n di4inati"n and Ca4e hi: a p"rti"n "B the pr"pert* Which is n"W in -%esti"n. Y5Z Thras*33"s, With these ""@s as his capita3, practiced the art "B di4inati"n. e eca:e an itinerant s""thsa*er, 3i4ed in :an* cities, and Was inti:ate With se4era3 W":en, s":e "B Wh": had chi3dren Wh": he ne4er e4en rec"Cni?ed as 3eCiti:ate, and, in partic%3ar, d%rinC this peri"d he 3i4ed With the :"ther "B the c":p3ainant. Y7Z hen he had ac-%ired a 3arCe B"rt%ne and *earned B"r his Bather3and, he 3eBt this W":an and the "thers as We33, and dise:ar@inC at +iphn"s :arried a sister "B :* Bather. /   Thras*33"s :ade his :"ne* "n the r"ad. e inherited s":e s""thsa*inC ""@s and practiced this art acr"ss :an* cities, eB"re ret%rninC t" the is3and "B +iphn"s, Where he Bina33* sett3ed d"Wn. The e4idence s%CCests that Thras*33"s  Was n"t re:ar@a3e in his 3iBest*3e, at 3east n"t in the c":inati"n "B his pr"Bessi"n and his Wander3%st. Fr": a 4ariet* "B ancient s"%rces We C3i:pse a  W"r3d "B tra4e33inC rit%a3 specia3ists, Wh" ase their epertise "n 4ari"%s diBBerent c3ai:s["B traininC, Ba:i3* inheritance, Ce"Craphica3 3"cati"n, di4ine Ba4"%r. 9  Perhaps it is eca%se "B their n%:er and 4ariet* that sch"3ars sti33 Bind it diBBic%3t t" decide h"W We sh"%3d cateC"rise, "r e4en h"W We sh"%3d thin@ a"%t these rit%a3 specia3ists. Atte:pts ha4e 3arCe3* B"c%sed "n the an":a3"%s nat%re "B the practices rather than the pe"p3e h"W d" these acti4ities Bit int", "r a3"nCside, "%r c"ncept "B ancient re3iCi"n\ And Br": there We are -%ic@3* s%c@ed int" the 3a*rinthine pr"3e: "B deBininC :aCic itse3B, With its :an* tWists, t%rns, e4en dead ends[inc3%dinC the -%esti"n "B Whether the ter: sh"%3d e %sed at a33. $  In this paper I ta@e a diBBerent appr"ach I %se e4idence B"r these independent practiti"ners and their practices, %t instead "B pr"3e:atisinC ancient Gree@ )agic   and its deBiniti"n, :* B"c%s is "n "%r c%rrent %nderstandinC "B ancient Gree@ religion   [speciBica33* the c"ncept "B  ,olis religion' as "%t3ined in tW" /  Is"@rates, /! <Aiginetikos= ,   '7 =trans. N ORLIN  Y/!80Z>. 9  +ee F LOER   =9008> B"r an ece33ent "4er4ieW "B the ancient Gree@ seer. $  F"r ea:p3e, M EER  ] M IRE21I  =/!!'>, esp. the s%::ar* "n p. 9. On h"W sch"3ars ha4e %sed the ter:, see + MIT  =/!!'>, p. /5 and 90, Whi3e + TER+  =900> arC%es that deBiniti"ns "B :aCic esp"%sed * acade:ics Were, and c"ntin%e t" e, inherent in the B"r:ati"n "B the idea "B :"dernit*. The he%ristic 4a3%e "B the ter: is s%pp"rted * V  ER+NEL  =/!!/a>X its %seB%3ness is dis:issed * G  AGER   =/!!9>, p. 99'.   NetW"r@s and Narrati4es A M"de3 B"r Ancient Gree@ Re3iCi"n // artic3es hat is 1olis   Re3iCi"n and F%rther Aspects "B 1olis   Re3iCi"n, * 2hristiane +"%r4in"%InW""d. M* arC%:ent is that Whi3e  ,olis   re3iCi"n "BBers a %seB%3 sche:a B"r %nderstandinC s":e aspects "B ancient Gree@ re3iCi"%s acti4it*, it cann"t pr"4ide a c":prehensi4e acc"%nt "B rit%a3 practice acr"ss and Within ancient Gree@ c"::%nities. IB We ass%:e that it d"es, then We are 3eBt With a ranCe "B ancient act"rs and acti4ities that appear an":a3"%s, 3""se ends B"r Which "ther cateC"ries =s%ch as :aCic "r :arCina3> ha4e t" e B"%nd. Instead, I pr"p"se that rather than c"ncept%a3isinC ancient Gree@ re3iCi"n in ter:s "B a sinC3e entit*, the  ,olis  , We :iCht etter pict%re it in ter:s "B a s"cia3 netW"r@, that is, at its si:p3est as sets "B n"des =representinC indi4id%a3s "r Cr"%ps>, 3in@ed * ties, %s%a33* :%3tip3e ties =representinC re3ati"nships "B 4ari"%s diBBerent s"rts>.    A:"nC th"se re3ati"nships are 3i@e3* t" ha4e een :an* that "cc%rred Within "r eca%se "B  ,olis  centred rit%a3 acti4it*, %t, i:p"rtant3*, n"t a33 "B the: did s". These ties "r re3ati"nships :iCht c"eist, de4e3"p "r chanCe "4er ti:eX :"re"4er, these ties :a* a3s" ha4e he3ped th"se in4"34ed t" create :eaninC. T" i33%strate these ideas, this paper "BBers tW" case st%dies Which pr"4ide diBBerent perspecti4es "n ancient Gree@ re3iCi"n the Birst, the creati"n and %se "B indinC spe33s, is %s%a33* descried as a practice "B indi4id%a3sX Whi3e the sec"nd B"c%ses "n a Cr"%p acti4it*[c%3ts re3atinC t" the W"rship "B Di"n*s"s. This paper ep3"res h"W, in each case, these tW" rit%a3 practices and their practiti"ners cha33enCe the Bra:eW"r@ "B  ,olis   re3iCi"n, and h"W an appr"ach that %ses s"cia3 netW"r@ the"r* :iCht "BBer a :"re n%anced perspecti4e "n their re3ati"nship t" the  ,olis  , and vice versa  . The idea that ancient Gree@ re3iCi"n :iCht etter e descried in ter:s "B a d*na:ic netW"r@ see:s ti:e3* B"r a n%:er "B diBBerent reas"ns. First, a3th"%Ch the idea "B Mediterranean interc"nnecti4it* is n"t neW t" ancient hist"r* and netW"r@ the"r* has een a rec"Cnised :eth"d"3"C* in Mediterranean archae"3"C* B"r at 3east 90 *ears "r s", in ancient hist"r*, the partic%3ar %se "B netW"r@ the"r* has "n3* rea33* c":e int" its "Wn re3ati4e3* recent3*. PereCrine "rden and Nich"3as P%rce33 ha4e ep3"red netW"r@s "B c"nnecti4it* in the MediterraneanX Irad Ma3@in has %sed netW"r@ the"r* t" thin@ a"%t c"3"nisati"n and identit*X and in 9005, 2hrist* 2"nstanta@"p"%3"% and 1aterina PanaC"p"%3"% he3d a c"nBerence enc"%raCinC sch"3ars t" %se the the"r* in disc%ssi"ns "B diBBerent aspects "B ancient hist"r*. '  In that c"ntet, Anna 2"33ar presented an inspirinC paper, 3ater p%3ished in the c"nBerence pr"ceedinCs,   A rieB and 4er* c3ear descripti"n "B a netW"r@ can e B"%nd in the intr"d%cti"n t" 2 ON+TANTA1OPO)LO) , M  AL1IN  and P  ANAGOPO)LO)  =900!>. The idea "B a netW"r@ :a* e i:p3icit in s":e "B + O)RVINO) I NOOD s "Wn descripti"ns "B  ,olis re3iCi"n B"r ea:p3e, her acc"%nt "B h"W indi4id%a3  ,oleis  , and indi4id%a3s "r Cr"%ps Br": Within  ,oleis  , participated in rites in "ther cities "r at a panhe33enic 3e4e3, see 900/a, /'/7X see B%rther e3"W. '   ORDEN  ] P )R2ELL =9000>X M  AL1IN  =900$>X B"r 9005 c"nBerence see a"4e, n. .  /9 E. E IDINO     Which %sed netW"r@ the"r* t" thin@ a"%t the spread acr"ss the R":an E:pire "B the c%3t "B the :"n"theistic Theos 0y,sistos  . 5  er paper B"c%sed "n descriinC the @inds "B n"des and ties acr"ss Which inB"r:ati"n :a* :"4e, sh"WinC h"W netW"r@ the"r* :iCht he3p t" :ap the de4e3"p:ent "B a c%3t. As she "ser4ed, there are -%esti"ns sti33 t" e ansWered a"%t the ide"3"C* and %ti3it* "B re3iCi"n[the attracti4eness "B a e3ieB s*ste: and its r"3e in its spread. 7  This paper Wi33 tr* t" "BBer s":e ansWers t" s":e "B these -%esti"ns.  A sec"nd reas"n B"r a neW :"de3 3ies in chanCes ta@inC p3ace in the st%d* "B ancient Gree@ re3iCi"n itse3B. hi3e the c"ncept "B  ,olis   re3iCi"n pr"4ides a  4a3%a3e startinC p"int B"r c"nsiderinC the  ,olis   as a re3iCi"%s "rCanisati"n, ne4erthe3ess, it has een deated and n%anced since its incepti"n. 8  Recent W"r@ s%CCests that s":e sch"3ars are a3s" -%esti"ninC the B"c%s it has Ci4en ="r een %sed t" Ci4e> t" c3assica3, %s%a33* Athenian, re3iCi"%s practice s":e ha4e n"ted that this ris@s 3i:itinC "%r 4ieW "B What c"%nts as re3iCi"%s, and :a* a3s" :ean that 3ater rit%a3 practice is 4ieWed in ter:s "B dis"rCanisati"n and dec3ine Br": an apparent idea3 re3iCi"%s B"r:. !  These criticis:s s%CCest that it :a* e ti:e B"r an ep3icit rec"nsiderati"n "B "%r :"de3 "B ancient Gree@ re3iCi"n[n"t in "rder t" aand"n the  ,olis re3iCi"n sche:a a3t"Cether, %t s" as t" %i3d "n it, and What We ha4e 3earned Br": its %se, especia33* in the c"ntet "B r"ader  W"r@ "n ancient Gree@ c%3t%re and s"ciet*. In this paper, in p%ttinC the case B"r s"cia3 netW"r@ the"r* as a asis B"r a :"de3 "B Gree@ re3iCi"n, I Wi33 draW "n the W"r@ "B the s"ci"3"Cist arris"n  hite, s%CCestinC that, in additi"n t" descriinC interacti"n etWeen indi4id%a3s, s%ch an appr"ach :a* a3s" he3p %s t" ea:ine the :enta3it* ehind it. In this :"de3, netW"r@s are n"t "n3* s"cia3 %t c"Cniti4e, and participati"n in a netW"r@ he3ps t" create :eaninC, "BBerinC Wa*s "B thin@inC a"%t, descriinC 5  2 OLLAR   =900!>. 7  2 OLLAR   =900!>, p. /'/. +he p"ses the -%esti"n in ter:s "B ^4%3nerai3it*_ t" a neW Baith and ea:ines e4"3%ti"nar* and netW"r@ appr"aches t" ansWerinC this -%esti"n, s%CCestinC that the tW" sh"%3d n"t e c"nsidered as :%t%a33* ec3%si4e =p. /'9>. 8  F"r ea:p3e, G )ETTEL 2 OLE  =/!!'>, With resp"nse * ( )R1ERT  =/!!'>. !  A se3ecti"n "B ea:p3es "B sch"3ars rec"nsiderinC aspects "B  ,olis re3iCi"n in ;ernos  , ( REMMER   =90/0> and 1  INDT  =900!>, "th "B Wh"se papers "riCinated, 3i@e this "ne, in a c"nBerence at the )ni4ersit* "B ReadinC ep3"rinC the idea "B  ,olis   re3iCi"n =see n. />X see a3s" 1  EARN+  =90/0> B"r a s*ste:atic appreciati"n "B What  ,olis re3iCi"n can and cann"t acc"%nt B"rX + 2OTT  =90/0> B"r reB3ecti"ns "n De3phi as +"%r4in"%InW""ds 3it:%s test case B"r the pri:ac* "B the p"3is in the "rCanisati"n "B the re3iCi"%s eperience =p. 97/, n. !>X ( OEDE1ER =9008> B"r c"nsiderati"n "B d":estic re3iCi"n in the c"ntet "B  ,olis re3iCi"n =descriinC  ,olis c%3t and Ba:i3* c%3t as an inter3"c@inC set "B practices, as*::etrica3 th"%Ch "Bten c":p3e:entar* p. 9>X   AN+EN  =900>, p. /$0/$, B"r a th"r"%Ch disc%ssi"n "B the r"3e "B the  ,olis as a re3iCi"%s "rCanisati"n, and the de4e3"p:ent "B that r"3eX M ORGAN  =/!!7> B"r ep3"rati"n "B re3iCi"%s de4e3"p:ent in ethne   as "pp"sed t"  ,oleis  .   E R+1INE  =90/0> pers%asi4e3* ep3"res the i:p3icati"ns "B the  ,olis   B"c%s.
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