The issue of "henotheism" in the religions and cults of the Graeco-Roman age

Course Information
TitleΗ έννοια του "ενοθεϊσμού" στις θρησκείες και τις λατρείες της ελληνορωμαϊκής εποχής / The issue of "henotheism" in the religions and cults of the Graeco-Roman age
Cycle / Level1st / Undergraduate
Teaching PeriodWinter/Spring
CoordinatorPanayotis Pachis
Course ID600015282

Class Information
Academic Year2018 – 2019
Class PeriodWinter
Faculty Instructors
Weekly Hours3
Class ID
Course Category
Specific Foundation / Core
Mode of Delivery
  • Face to face
Digital Course Content
The course is also offered to exchange programme students.
Language of Instruction
  • Greek (Instruction, Examination)
  • English (Instruction, Examination)
Learning Outcomes
- To understand the issue of the “system” during the Graeco-Roman age. - To penetrate into the way of thinking of the ancient world individuals regarding their gods, i.e. the preoccupations, preconceptions, and assumptions of ancient Greek religion and culture. - To address the importance of “henotheism” during the Greco-Roman era. - To study the concept of power and salvation during the Greco-Roman age.
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 teams
  • Work in an international context
  • Generate new research ideas
  • Appreciate diversity and multiculturality
  • Respect natural environment
  • Demonstrate social, professional and ethical commitment and sensitivity to gender issues
  • Be critical and self-critical
  • Advance free, creative and causative thinking
Course Content (Syllabus)
The term "henotheism" is a contemporary research approach that is directly related to the political-social and religious Weltanschaung that prevailed during the Graeco-Roman age (especially during the era of Principatum , 1st - 3rd century AD). Its main expressions are, εἷς θεός, μέγας θεός, ἐγὼ εὶμὶ that we encounter during this period in testimonies of texts, inscriptions, papyri and amulets mainly related to the cult of Isis and Sarapis. The ultimate goal of these terms is to declare the omnipotence, the providence and the salvation of the representatives both of the macrocosm (gods) and the microcosm (representatives of the political power) to the people of that time. In this way is stated an absolute relationship between religion and politics, which are the two sides of the same coin.
Henotheism, power, benefaction, salvation, Aretalogies, (divine) epithets, oecumenism, cosmopolitanism.
Educational Material Types
  • Notes
  • Slide presentations
  • Book
Use of Information and Communication Technologies
Use of ICT
  • Use of ICT in Course Teaching
  • Use of ICT in Communication with Students
Use of Power-points during the lectures (and presentations). Collaboration with the students during the Semester through E-Mails.
Course Organization
Written assigments80.3
Student Assessment
Writing of papers- Discussion -Evaluation of current scientific theories and methodologies. The rating of the students is a result of their above efficiencies during the Semester.
Student Assessment methods
  • Written Assignment (Formative)
  • Performance / Staging (Summative)
Course Bibliography (Eudoxus)
Pachis, P., Religion and Politics in the Graeco-Roman World. Redescribing the Isis-Sarapis Cult, Thessaloniki, 2010 (Εύδοξος).
Additional bibliography for study
Bricault, L., Myrionymi, Les épicleses Grecques et Latines d’ isis, de Serapis et d’ Anubis, Stuttgart-Leipzig, 1996. -------------, “Zeus Helios Mégas Sarapis”, in: Actia Orientalia Belgica, vol. XVIII: La Langue dand tous ses etages, M. Malaise in honorem, Bruxelles -Liège -Leuven, 2005, 243-254. Henrichs, A., “The Sophists and Hellenistic Religion: Prodicus as the Spiritual Father of Isis Cult”, Harvard Studies in Classical Philology 88 (1984), 139-158. Martin, L.H., Οι θρησκείες της ελληνιστικής εποχής (μετ. Δ. Ξυγαλάτάς. Επιμ. Προλ.Π. Παχής), Θεσσαλονίκη 2004. ---------------, Studies in Hellenistic Religions, edited and preface by P. Pachis, Eugen, OR, 2018. Nock, A., Conversion. The Old and the New in Religion from Alexander the Great to Augustine of Hippo, Oxford, 1961 (1933). Pachis, P., “The Hellenistic Era as An Age of Propaganda: The Case of Isis’ Cult,” in: L.H. Martin -P. Pachis (eds.), Theoretical Frameworks for the Sttudy of Graeco-Roman Religions, Thessaloniki,2003, σελ. 97-125. ------------, “Isis Tyrannos and the Construction of Imperial society: Ecumenism and Social Formation”, in: Pachis, P., Religion and Politics in the Graeco-Roman World. Redescribing the Isis-Sarapis Cult, Thessaloniki, 2010, σελ. 147-223. Pleket, H. W., “Religious History as the History of Mentality”, The “Believer” as Servant of the Deity in the Greek World”, in: H. S. Versnel (ed.), Faith, Hope and Worship. Aspects of Religious Mentality in the Ancient World, Leiden, 1981, σελ. 152-192. Smith, J.Z., Map is not Territory. Studies in the History of Religions, London-Chicago, 1993. Totti, M., Ausgewählte Texte der Isis und Sarapis-Religion, Hlidesheim, 1985. Sfameni Gasparro, G., “The Globalization and Localization of Religion: From Hellenism to Late Antiquity. Assesing a Category in the History of religions”, in: L.H. Martin -P. Pachis (eds.), Hellenisation, Empire and Globalization: Lessons from Antiquity, Thessaloniki,2004, σελ.41-83. -------------------------, “The Hellenistic Face of Isis: Cosmic and Savour Goddess”, in: L. Bricault- M. J. Versluys- P. G. P. Meyboom (eds.), Nile Into Tiber. Egypt in the Roman World. Proceedings of the Third International Conference of Isis Studies, Leiden, May 11-14 May 2005, Leiden, 2007, σελ. 40-72. Vandelip G., The Four Hymns of Isidorus and the Cult of Isis, Ameican Studies in Papyrology, 12, Toronto 1972. Versnel, H. S. Inoconsistencies in Greek and Roman Religion, vol. I: Ter Unus. Isis Dionysos, Hermes. Three Studies in Henotheism, Studies in Greek and Roman Religion, vol.6,Leiden: Brill,1990.
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