Religion and Society in Ancient Thessaly

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Oxford University Press, 2015 - History - 430 pages
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The fertile plains of the ancient Greek region of Thessaly stretch south from the shadow of Mount Olympus. Thessaly's numerous small cities were home to some of the richest men in Greece, their fabulous wealth counted in innumerable flocks and slaves. It had a strict oligarchic government and a reputation for indulgence and witchcraft, but also a dominant position between Olympus and Delphi, and a claim to some of the greatest Greek heroes, such as Achilles himself. It can be viewed as both the cradle of many aspects of Greek civilization and as a challenge to the dominant image of ancient Greece as moderate, rational, and democratic.

Religion and Society in Ancient Thessaly explores the issues of regionalism in ancient Greek religion and the relationship between religion and society, as well as the problem of thinking about these matters through particular bodies of evidence. It discusses in depth the importance of citizenship and of other group-identities in Thessaly, and the relationship between cult activity and political and social organization. The volume investigates the Thessalian particularities of the evidence and the role of religion in giving the inhabitants of this land a sense of their identity and place in the wider Greek world, as well as the role of Thessaly in the ancients' and moderns' understanding of Greekness.


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Three Questions for a Regional Study of Religion
Oligarchic Constitution and Religion in the Thessalian Poleis
Polis Cults
Thessaly through the Kaleidoscope
Panthessalianism and Religion
The Land Rich in Herbs
Thessalian Inscribed Dedications
Sitesummaries of Excavated Thessalian Sanctuaries
Catalogue of SocialReligious Groups Attested in the Epigraphic Record
Subject Index
Select Index of Sources

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About the author (2015)

Maria Mili has studied history and archaeology at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, the University of Edinburgh, and the University of Oxford. She lives in Athens and Crete.

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