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

Conference Paper

Regional Studies II
Saturday 2021-10-16
12:00 | 14:00
Place: Swedish Institute at Athens & Zoom

«… εἰς τὴν Λακεδαιμονίων πόλιν, ὅτε ὀνείρατι πειθόμενος τῷ Ἀμυκλαίῳ θεῷ ἐφοίτησεν εὔξασθαι» (Himerios or. 72): The Amyklaion near Sparta in Late Antiquity

Stavros Vlizos, 2021-10-16, Time: 12:40 - 13:20


Information on the use of the Amyklaion and Agia Kyriaki hill as locus sanctus in Roman times and the early Christian period is scant. Although there is a clear fall off in the number of votive offerings, both the textual sources of the Roman and Byzantine period, few fragments of architectural members, figurines and lamps bear witness to the sanctuary’s undiminished operation into Late Antiquity and the 11th century C.E., and perhaps also to the existence of additional edifices. The picture changes clearly in the 3rd/4th century C.E., mainly because of the erection of new buildings. Particularly important is the existence of earlier material/spolia, such as the lower part of the herm of the priest Onasikrates, of the early 4th century C.E., and the base of a Doric column from the peristasis of the Throne in these new constructions. This picture is filled in by the testimony of the 4th century C.E. orator Himerios, who mentions that, on the one hand, the city of Sparta in his day was adorned with fine buildings and, on the other that he visits the Amyklaion in order to pray to the god, i.e. Apollon. Having in mind all these indications one could create a picture with intensive building activity during late Roman and the early Christian period, expecting large interventions. The present paper aims to explore issues such as the evolution and importance of the sanctuary of Apollon Amyklaios in late antiquity, interventions in the infrastructure of the site and its functionality until the early Byzantine period

About the Author(s)

Ionian University

Vlizos Stavros
Vlizos Stavros

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