Twilight of the Gods: Greek Cult Places and the Transition to Late Antiquity

Conference Paper

Regional Studies I
Saturday 2021-10-16
09:30 | 11:30
Place: Swedish Institute at Athens & Zoom

The History and Fate of the Sebasteion at Eretria, Euboea

Valentina Di Napoli, 2021-10-16, Time: 10:50 - 11:30


Located in the heart of the city, the Sebasteion, or temple for the imperial cult, of Eretria was built in the late 1st cent. BC and underwent some modifications during the centuries of its use. After briefly presenting the main building phases of the temple, its decorative apparatus, and some suggested reconstructions, the talk will focus on the final chapter of its life. The latter saw a meticulous destruction of both the building and the inner decoration, which consisted of imperial images.

The fate of the Sebasteion and of its statues is examined not only in the frame of the history of Eretria in late antiquity, but also in the wider context of the process of Christianisation of Greece. A violent act of destruction is attested in this building, which matches other similar events attested in Greece and the Mediterranean world. On the other side, appropriation of the pagan past and continuity with the tradition can be also observed in late antique Greece. Thus, the picture of a multifaceted process involving different Christian responses to paganism seems to emerge more clearly.

About the Author(s)

University of Patras

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