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Polytheism and Society at Athens$
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Robert Parker

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199216116

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199216116.001.0001

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The Panathenaea

The Panathenaea

(p.253) 12 The Panathenaea
Polytheism and Society at Athens

Robert Parker (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the processions, sacrifices, religious symbols, and rituals associated with the Greater Panathenaea, one of the four Attic festivals in ancient Athens that stand out for the frequency with which they are mentioned and the abundance of evidence that survives in relation to them. The visibility of the Greater Panathenaea within the Greek world was great, through the concrete symbols of it obligingly taken home by visitors: not just the famous amphorae received by victors, but also smaller vessels evoking the larger in shape and decoration and probably sold as souvenirs. Only one of the ritual symbols deployed, the famous ship on land, is out of the ordinary. But commonplace elements are combined in ways that illustrate several potentialities of the festival form with great clarity. The prominence of the Greater Panathenaea in the administrative or organisational year is a demonstration of embedded religion in action in ancient Athens.

Keywords:   festivals, ancient Athens, Greater Panathenaea, religion, processions, sacrifices, religious symbols, rituals

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