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City and Empire in the Age of the SuccessorsUrbanization and Social Response in the Making of the Hellenistic Kingdoms$
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Ryan Boehm

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780520296923

Published to California Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520296923.001.0001

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Civic Cults between Continuity and Change

Civic Cults between Continuity and Change

Chapter:
(p.143) 3 Civic Cults between Continuity and Change
Source:
City and Empire in the Age of the Successors
Author(s):

Ryan Boehm

Publisher:
University of California Press
DOI:10.1525/california/9780520296923.003.0004

This chapter considers the important role of the polis as a religious community. Reconstructing cultic continuities and changes reveals aspects of social response to the rupture and discontinuity posed by population movement, settlement shift, and political change. The epigraphic, literary, and archaeological evidence allows us to piece together important indications of how traditional cultic and religious identities intersected with innovation. The chapter first maps the changing religious landscape of regions before and after urban mergers and considers how and why particular cults survived or died out and what this meant for the community that resulted. It then shows the ways in which central sanctuaries and civic cults served as focal points for integrating the discrete citizen groups into the polis, and the ways in which the traditional sacred landscape was simultaneously respected and replicated in the center of the new city. Finally, it examines the ways in which these synoikized communities—and, at times, their original constitutive parts—participated in religious and theoric networks such as koina and Panhellenic festivals.

Keywords:   polis cults, continuity, cultic innovation, sanctuaries, religious networks

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