September 26 - September 26, 2007 Church and State in...

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September 26, 2007 Church and State in Ancient Greece Religion and the polis o The public hearth ( hestia ) As in the oikos: perpetual flame at spiritual center Maintained at or near agora Often in central government building ( prytaneion ) Connection to Panhellenic sanctuaries Renewal of sacred flame Reception of dignitaries (ambassadors, statesmen, etc.) Symbolic incorporation into community o Foundation of colonies: consultation of oracle Ex: Thera founds colony of Kyrene in north Africa Polis consults Delphi about drought: colonize Lybia Political myth: divine imperative for appropriation of land Transfer of cult from mother-city (model of family) Sacred flame, cult images and practices etc. Religion in day-to-day government o Sacred calendar 12 months named after gods and their festivals Polis schedules rituals, festivals Sacred days: for sacrifice, festivals, processions etc. Profane days: for government, war, business etc. Archon basileus reconciles solar-lunar cycles Yearly, biennial, quadrennial festivals One level of control over polis o Religious and political geography Altar of the Twelve Gods in the Athenian agora: point from which
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September 26 - September 26, 2007 Church and State in...

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