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Historical and Religious Memory in the Ancient World$
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Beate Dignas and R. R. R. Smith

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780199572069

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572069.001.0001

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Rituals and the Construction of Identity in Attalid Pergamon

Rituals and the Construction of Identity in Attalid Pergamon

Chapter:
(p.119) 6 Rituals and the Construction of Identity in Attalid Pergamon
Source:
Historical and Religious Memory in the Ancient World
Author(s):

Beate Dignas

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199572069.003.0006

The creation of a mythical past and its transformation into a religious and political present by the Attalid dynasty have been a main focus of recent scholarly work. It is, however, inappropriate to imagine an entirely artificial religious identity that is void of genuine historical and religious memory. Individual Pergamene rituals and the concert of religious activities in the royal city do not reflect logical creation but rather illustrate contradictions. This chapter looks at the various influences, Greek and non-Greek, that shaped religious life at Pergamon outside the realm of royal ambition. This chapter identifies the factors that prompted the kings to further certain deities and heroes, and the constraints in simply imposing their own ideas and affinities.

Keywords:   Attalid dynasty, mythical past, memory, Pergamon, identity, religious present, rituals, royal ambition

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