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Sacrality and the Greek Polis

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Sacrality and the Greek Polis studies the development of “sacredness” in sanctuaries during the formative and Classical stages of ancient Greek society (1200-300 BCE). Sacrality defined social, cultural and political life at its very core: it determined not only the proper way of conduct of humans with regard to the gods, but also defined social relationships between humans by posing strict (often implicitly understood) rules.

Our research group asks how and why sanctuaries developed into the principal centers where societal ideas about divinely sanctioned conduct came together and from which they emanated. It does so by studying the various constituent components that made up sanctuaries as centers of religion: human actors, ritual practice, mythological traditions and religious monuments.

Sacrality and the Greek Polis is associated with the International Network for the Study of Ancient Greek Sanctuaries, HIERON, and with the Oikos research Group Cultural Interactions in the Mediterranean.