Ancient Greek and Roman religion

Course Information
TitleΑΡΧΑΙΑ ΕΛΛΗΝΙΚΗ ΚΑΙ ΡΩΜΑΪΚΗ ΘΡΗΣΚΕΙΑ. / Ancient Greek and Roman religion
SchoolSocial Theology and Christian Culture
Cycle / Level2nd / Postgraduate
Teaching PeriodWinter
CoordinatorApostolos Kralidis
Course ID60005053

Class Information
Academic Year2017 – 2018
Class PeriodWinter
Faculty Instructors
Weekly Hours3
Total Hours39
Class ID
Course Type 2016-2020
  • Scientific Area
  • Skills Development
Course Type 2011-2015
Specific Foundation / Core
Mode of Delivery
  • Face to face
Digital Course Content
Language of Instruction
  • Greek (Instruction, Examination)
Learning Outcomes
Postgr. Students are expected that during the course will • understand Ancient Greek and Roman Religions, their content and teaching and also the basic lines of History of Religions. • Relate theory with practice in the interpretation of each cult as a cultural phenomenon. • become familiar with the organization and presentation of ranking methods and separation of cults. • learn several ways of collecting data for understanding the religious phenomenon in local communities. • practice in analyzing and interpreting qualitative data about cults.
General Competences
  • Apply knowledge in practice
  • Retrieve, analyse and synthesise data and information, with the use of necessary technologies
  • Adapt to new situations
  • Make decisions
  • Work autonomously
  • Work in an interdisciplinary team
  • Generate new research ideas
  • Appreciate diversity and multiculturality
  • Be critical and self-critical
  • Advance free, creative and causative thinking
Course Content (Syllabus)
The course includes a) a detailed description of individual sections of the ancient Greek and Roman religion b) practical training and homework of students. 1. Introduction. Ancient Greek religion. Early period, historical development. 2. Cosmology and Mythology. Origin and interpretation of divine forces. The testimony of sources. Access to sources through internet and literature . 3. Hero-cult. Hercules. Homework progress. 4. Deities and festivals . Eleusinian Mysteries. The spread of the cult of Dionysus . The worship other gods such as Athena and Apollo. 5. Perceptions of the immortality of the soul. The narrative of the abduction of Persephone and the descent into Hades . Presentation of progress. 6. Characteristics of Greek religion through the findings of worship in the ancient Greek city. Critical evaluation of the findings. 7. The main features of Roman worship in the early period . Cults in the Italian Peninsula before the Roman conquests. Influences. 8. The Roman cult in the Roman Republic and Monarchy . Homework progress and main homeworks of the semester. Observations and comments on the work. 9. Influence of the ancient Greek religion, Egyptian religion and other cults of the East. Religious syncretism. 10. The reforms of Octavian Augustus. Other reforms of subsequent emperors. 11. The imperial cult and Roman ideology. The cult of Sol Invictus. 12. The gradual decline of the Roman religion , mainly from the late republic period. Presentation of the main homeworks of the semester. 13 Conclusions . Comments on the presentation of the main homeworks.
greek religion, Cosmology, Mythology, Hero-cult, Hercules, Appolo, Dionysos, Athena, roman reglion, Euxine Pontus, Asia Minor, Syria, Palestine, egyptian religion, religious syncretism, Octavian, east cults, Mithras, Sol Invictus, Helios-cult, roman imperial cult, Henotheism.
Educational Material Types
  • Notes
  • Slide presentations
  • Audio
  • Multimedia
Use of Information and Communication Technologies
Use of ICT
  • Use of ICT in Course Teaching
  • Use of ICT in Communication with Students
The use of ICT are made in the auditorium at the time of teaching with use of the computer (viewing text, audio, moving images) in PowerPoint environment and also with a parallel use of multimedia via links (links) from the Internet. All necessary infrastructure is provided by the University and there are relevant multimedia equipment in each classroom. It also possible to access databases and data banks via digital library and all the active digital subscriptions of AUTH. Finally, students can communicate, seek information and hand over their homework through electronic mail (e-mail).
Course Organization
Reading Assigment
Field trips and participation in conferences / seminars / activities
Written assigments
Student Assessment
Student Assessment methods
  • Written Exam with Multiple Choice Questions (Formative)
  • Written Exam with Short Answer Questions (Formative)
  • Written Assignment (Formative, Summative)
  • Oral Exams (Formative)
  • Performance / Staging (Formative, Summative)
Additional bibliography for study
Alföldy, G., «Ιστορία της ρωμαϊκής κοινωνίας» (μετ. Α. Χανιώτης), Αθήνα 1992. Beard, Μ. – J. North - Simon Price, Religions of Rome, vols I-II, Cambridge 1998. Beaujeu, J., La religion romaine à lʹapogée de lʹempire, Paris 1955. Berrens, S., Sonnenkult und Kaisertum von den Severern bis zu Constantin I. (193–337 n.Chr.), Historia, Einzelschriften 185, Stuttgart 2004. Bickerman, E., The Jews in the Greek Age. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press, 1988. Bruit Zaidman L. – P Schmitt Pantel, Η θρησκεία στις ελληνικές πόλεις της κλασικής εποχής (μετ. Κ. Μπούρας, επιμ. Μ. Τριανταφύλλου), Αθήνα 2002. Burkert, W., Αρχαία ελληνική θρησκεία, Αρχαϊκή και κλασική εποχή (μετ. Ν.Π.Μπεζεντάκος – Αφρ. Αβαγιανού, φιλολογ. επιμ. Ν.Π.Μπεζεντάκος), Αθήνα 1993. Burrell, B., Neokoroi: Greek Cities of the Roman East, Ph.D. diss., Harvard University 1980 Buxton, R. (ed), Oxford Readings in Greek Religion, Oxford 2000. Campbell, J.B., The Emperor and the Roman Army 31 BC to AD 235, Routledge, New York 1984. Casadio, G., “How to write a Survey of Greek Religion from the point of view of the Comparative Study of Religion”, in : L. H. Martin – P. Pachis (eds), Theoritical Frameworks for the Study of Greco–Roman Religions, Thessaloniki 2003, pp.53-56. Collins, J. J., και G. E. Sterling, Hellenism in the land of Israel, Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame, 2001. Dodd, D. B. – Chr. Faraone (eds), Initiations in Ancient Greek Rituals and Narratives, London – New York, 2003. Fine, S., Jews, Christians, and Polytheists in the Ancient Synagogue: Cultural Interaction During the Greco–Roman Period. London New York: Routledge, 1999. Fowden, G., Empire and Commonwealth: Consequences of Monotheism in Late Antiquity, Princeton 1993. Fowler, W.W., The Religious Experience of the Roman People, New York 19712. Fox, R.L., Pagans and Christians, New York & London 1988. Garnsey, P. – R. Saller, «Η ρωμαϊκή αυτοκρατορία. Οικονομία, κοινωνία και πολιτισμός» (μετ. Β. Ι .Αναστασιάδης, επιμ. Γ. Α. Σουρής), Ηράκλειο 1995. Goodman, M., Rome and Jerusalem: the clash of ancient civilizations. London: Allen Lane, 2007. Gradel, Ι., Emperor Worship and Roman Religion, Clarendon Press, Oxford 2002. Halsberghe, G., The cult of Sol Invictus, EPRO 23, Leiden 1972. Hengel, M., Judaism and Hellenism. Studies in their Encounter in Palestine in the Early Hellenic Period. Fortress Press, 1991. Kaizer, T., The variety of local religious life in the Near East in the Hellenistic and Roman periods. Leiden; Boston: Brill, 2008. King, A., Henig, M., (ἔκδ.), The Roman West in the Third Century. Oxford: British Archaeological Reports S109, 2 τόμ., 1981. Lapin, H., Religious and ethnic communities in later Roman Palestine. Potomac, Md.: University Press of Maryland 1998. Liebeschuetz, J.H.W.G., Continuity and Change in Roman Religion, Oxford University Press, Oxford 1979. MacMullen, R., Paganism in the Roman empire, London 1982. Martin, L. H., Οι Θρησκείες της Ελληνιστικής εποχής, εκδόσεις Βάνιας, Θεσσαλονίκη 2004. Nilsson, M.P., Ελληνική λαϊκή θρησκεία (μετ. Ι. Θ. Κακριδή), Αθήνα 1979. Nilsson, M.P., Ιστορία της αρχαίας ελληνικής θρησκείας (μετ. Αικ. Παπαθωμοπούλου, προλεγόμενα Δ. Σταθόπουλου), Αθήνα 1977. Odgen (ed.), A Companion to Greek Religion (Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World), Malden ,MA-Oxford:Blackwell, 2007. Parker, R., Athenian Religion. A History, Oxford 1996. Parker, R., Greek Religiοn, Oxford 1994 (1999). Parker, R., Miasma. Pollution and Purification in Early Greek Religion,Oxford 1983. Parker, R., Polytheism and Society at Athens, Oxford 2005. Poetscher, W., «Ελληνική θρησκεία», Ευάγγ. Ρούσσος (επιμ.), Οι Θρησκείες (Εκπαιδευτική Ελληνική Εγκυκλοπαίδεια, τόμος 12), Αθήνα 1992, σελ. 146-155. Price, S., Religion of the Ancient Greeks (Key themes in Ancient History), Cambridge 1999. Rives, J.B., Religion and Authority in Roman Carthage from Augustus to Constantine, Clarendon Press, Oxford 1995. Rüpke, J. (ed.), A Companion to Roman Religion (Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World), Malden ,MA-Oxford:Blackwell, 2007 Scheid, J., Roman Religion. An Introduction (transl. . J. Loyd), Bloomington, In., 2003. Seaford, R., Ανταπόδοση και τελετουργία. Ο Όμηρος και η τραγωδία στην αναπτυσσόμενη πόλη-κράτος (μετ. Β. Λιάπης), Αθήνα 2004. Sourvinou-Inwood, Chr., “What is Polis Religion”, in: O. Murray-S. Price (eds), The Greek City from Homer to Alexander, Oxford 1998 (reprint), pp. 295 – 322. Southern; P., The Roman Empire from Severus to Constantine, Routledge, London and New York 2001. Vernant, J. P,. Ανάμεσα στο μύθο και την πολιτική (μετ. Μ.Ι. Γιόση), Αθήνα 2000. Vernant, J. P,. Μύθος και θρησκεία στην αρχαία Ελλάδα (μετ. Μ.Ι. Γιόση), Αθήνα 2000. Vernant, J. P,. Μύθος και κοινωνία στην αρχαία Ελλάδα (μετ. Κ. Αλεξοπούλου - Σπ. Γεωργακόπουλος), Αθήνα 2003. Walbank, F. W., Ο ελληνιστικός κόσμος, εκδόσεις Βάνιας, Θεσσαλονίκη 1999. Κραλίδης, Α., Η αυτοκρατορική λατρεία στην περίοδο της Τετραρχίας (284-313 μ.Χ.), εκδόσεις Βάνιας, Θεσσαλονίκη 2010. Παπαχατζής, Ν., «Η θρησκεία στην αρχαία Ελλάδα», Αθήνα 1987. δ. Παχής, Π., Οι ανατολικές λατρείες της ελληνορωμαϊκής περιόδου, εκδόσεις Μπαρμπουνάκης, Θεσσαλονίκη 2010.
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