New Aspects of Religion in Ancient Athens 

Honors, Authorities, Esthetics, and Society 


Jon D. Mikalson offers for classical and Hellenistic Athens a study of the terminology and contexts of praises of religious actions and artefacts and an investigation of the various authorities in religious activities. The terms of approbation apply to priests, priestesses, and lay individuals in various capacities as well as to sacrifices, dedications, and sanctuaries. From these a new esthetic of Greek religion emerges as well as a new social aspect of public religious practices. The authorities include oracles, traditional customs, laws, and decrees, and their hierarchy and interaction are described. The authority of the Ekklesia, Boule, administrative and military officials, priests, priestesses, and others is also delineated, and a new view of polis “control” of religion is put forward.

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Jon D. Mikalson, Ph.D.(1970), Harvard University. Kenan Professor of Classics at the University of Virginia. His books include Athenian Popular Religion (1983), Honor Thy Gods: Popular Religion in Greek Tragedy (1992), Religion in Hellenistic Athens (1998), and Greek Popular Religion in Greek Philosophy (2010).

Those scholars and graduate students concerned with Greek religion, and its history, structure, authorities, practitioners, traditions, and esthetic and social dynamics in an Athenian context.