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Religious Interactions in the Hellenistic World

18-03-2017 - 19-03-2017

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International Conference

The Ioannou Centre for Classical and Byzantine Studies - Oxford,

Lecture Theatre 18-19 March 2017

Organisers: Dr Sofia Kravaritou & Dr Maria Stamatopoulou




Sponsors: Marie-Curie Fellowship, John Fell Fund, The Craven Committee, Society for the Promotion of Hellenic Studies

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Connecting people or promoting diversity? Endorsing diplomatic affinities among empires and local communities by forging social bonds between ethnically and culturally diverse people, or instigating social conflicts based on varied group identities within major urban centres? What was the driving force in communicating and sharing heterogeneous cult practices and beliefs among the populations of the Hellenistic World? The conference will discuss how and whether religious interactions helped achieve a successful operation of institutions and whether they contributed to the cohesion of the peoples in the Hellenistic empires. The area covered stretches from Sicily and Italy to Bactria.

The issues that will be addressed include: the role of cult practices and religious beliefs in the emergence and development of the socio-political and cultural interface of the Hellenistic World; how and whether rulers promoted religious interactions in order to achieve social cohesion; what were the major effects of the social policies and initiatives related to cult affairs that were implemented by non-royal social agents; the development of shared cult practices among ethnically and culturally diverse agents and cult participants as a key factor in acculturation processes in metropoleis and smaller communities; the evolution of religious institutions and sacred spaces both in local and regional socio-cultural contexts; the role of interconnectivity and communication networks; religious diversity and modes of exchange between Greek and non-Greek traditions of religious practice and thought; the nature and motivation behind the wide distribution of certain deities and cult practices; the role of private groups and associations; one’s gods and the gods of the others  ̶  perception of self and the ‘other’ as a medium of self-representation within the Hellenistic cosmos.

Attendance – Info

  • Attendance is free for all Oxford university members, staff and students. In order to have a sense of numbers, and ensure that we adhere to Fire Regulation restrictions we would appreciate it if you could contact us to inform us if you are planning to attend.
  • Attendance costs: £8 (covers tea and coffee for the two days).
  • We are able to provide a few bursaries for students in Greek History and Archaeology from other UK universities; they may cover (part or all) travel expenses, registration fee. Interested students are requested to contact Sofia Kravaritou (email:

Programme and Abstracts downloads:

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