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See detailKings and Elites in an Intercultural Tradition: From Diodorus to the Egyptian Temples
Caneva, Stefano ULiege

in Greece and Rome (in press), 65

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See detailIncense in Hellenistic Ruler Cult
Caneva, Stefano ULiege

in Bradley, Mark; Grand-Clément, Adéline (Eds.) Sensing Divinity: Incense, Religion, and the Ancient Sensorium (in press)

The paper explores the textual and visual evidence from the Hellenistic Eastern Mediterranean concerning the use of incense in the ritual practice for Hellenistic political leaders. Focus is placed on the ... [more ▼]

The paper explores the textual and visual evidence from the Hellenistic Eastern Mediterranean concerning the use of incense in the ritual practice for Hellenistic political leaders. Focus is placed on the role played by incense in the construction of the religious experience of cults for human beings, with particular attention to 1) the interaction between incense burning and other ritual actions; 2) the role of incense in articulating the relationship between old (host) and new (guest) recipients of cult in specific contexts, and 3) the role of incense in Greek and non-Greek contexts of cult for rulers. [less ▲]

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See detailLe rôle du gymnase : espace, rituels et acteurs sociaux dans une perspective comparatiste
Caneva, Stefano ULiege

in Lenzo, Giuseppina; Nihan, Christophe (Eds.) Les cultes aux rois et aux héros dans l’antiquité : continuités et changements à l’époque hellénistique (in press)

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See detailNuovi culti eroici nell'alto Ellenismo: una riconsiderazione di destinatari, attori e contesti
Caneva, Stefano ULiege; Coppola, Alessandra

Conference (2018, November)

This paper explores the entanglement between social status and the bestowal of heroic honours upon deceased political leaders and elite members in the late-classical and early Hellenistic period ... [more ▼]

This paper explores the entanglement between social status and the bestowal of heroic honours upon deceased political leaders and elite members in the late-classical and early Hellenistic period. Epigraphic and literary sources shedding light on the establishment, justification and social impact of heroic honours practised by different social groups will be discussed, to investigate the implications of the social status of cult agents and recipients upon the definition of the position of honoured humans in relation to the superhuman sphere. This will also imply exploring the types of relationships existing between private heroic foundations and royal divine foundations in the studied period. Contrary to a generally accepted assumption, it will be argued that heroization was common for members of elite families, while it was not the primary option to reward local political leaders, since their honours were principally modelled after godlike honours. For instance, when they came into existence during the mid-Hellenistic period, cults for high-ranking civic leaders were largely modelled on godlike honours for monarchs, but were decreed after death – it will be argued – to preserve a hierarchical distinction between the social status of their recipients. The posthumous bestowal explains why honours for great civic benefactors also drew on typically heroic honours, such as public burial inside the city. However, similar contaminations of heroic and divine honours had already been exploited for the worshipped deceased kings of the early Hellenistic period (e.g. Alexander at Alexandria, Demetrius at Demetrias), so that a certain mixture of divine and heroic features could be said to have been directly transferred from royal to non-royal leaders. In neither case, however, did the presence of heroic features imply that cultic honours for Hellenistic political leaders would be commonly labelled as heroic. A revealing case is that of the Hellenistic leader Aratus, whose “fitting honours” decreed at Sicyon (Polyb. 8.12-7-8; Plut., Arat. 53) are labelled as heroic by moderns only because they were decreed posthumously. Similarly, at Megalopolis, the posthumous honours for the commander Philopoimen comprised a public tomb in the agora – a typically heroic honour – but were labelled as “honours equal to the gods”, not as heroic. We must wait for the late-Hellenistic and Imperial period to trace a significant multiplication of honours for political leaders explicitly labelled heroic. [less ▲]

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See detailA la table du souverain. Modération, excès et hiérarchie dans les banquets de cour hellénistiques et impériaux
Caneva, Stefano ULiege

Conference (2018, October 04)

A travers une sélection de sources littéraires grecques et latines, datant de l’époque d’Alexandre jusqu’à la haute période impériale, on se propose de discuter quelques aspects de la thématique ... [more ▼]

A travers une sélection de sources littéraires grecques et latines, datant de l’époque d’Alexandre jusqu’à la haute période impériale, on se propose de discuter quelques aspects de la thématique concernant l’existence (ou l’absence) de règles morales auxquelles la conduite des souverains devrait être sujette par rapport à la consommation de la nourriture et du vin. Plutôt que de prendre en considération l’aspect médical de la diète royale, l’étude se focalise sur ses implications sociales et symboliques : notamment, le rôle de la consommation sociale de la nourriture dans la définition d’une royauté qui accepte d’obéir à des règles partagées de modération et d’autocontrôle, promues et protégés par les élites, ou qui, par contre, prétend de manifester sa dimension charismatique à travers une conduite se plaçant consciemment au-delà des limites imposées aux sujets. Les textes analysés discutent le thème du rapport entre le souverain et la nourriture soit à travers les récits de banquets devenus célèbres dans la tradition historiographique et rhétorique, soit par le biais de scènes mythiques ou de banquets historiques imaginaires, où la fiction littéraire sert à thématiser le rapport entre le souverain et les élites ainsi que la mise en place d’une hiérarchie de cour. Un aspect crucial de cette analyse concerne l’identification des classes sociales appelées, dans les textes, à définir les règles du rapport entre le roi et la nourriture, ainsi qu’à exercer le rôle de contrôleurs du respect de ces règles. Un autre aspect à considérer est l’appartenance sociale des auteurs des textes qui prescrivent, approuvent ou stigmatisent certaines pratiques. Considérées ensemble, ces deux perspectives nous permettront de discuter les intérêts et l’agenda des groupes qui s’expriment à travers ces textes. Une attention particulière sera donnée à l’époque de transition entre la fin de la période hellénistique et le début du Principat, lorsque la réflexion sur la sobriété ou la tryphè (ou, selon une perspective critique, la débauche) du roi s’inscrit dans une discussion plus large sur le choix de continuité ou de rupture entre le modèle royal hellénistique et le type de pouvoir monarchique universel expérimenté par les premiers empereurs. [less ▲]

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See detailHellenistic cultic foundations for the dead: Civic, royal, individual, and groups' initiatives in interaction
Caneva, Stefano ULiege

Conference (2018, May)

The paper explores the interaction between different kinds of social agents in the funding and management of cult foundations for the dead in the late-classical and Hellenistic period. Textual and ... [more ▼]

The paper explores the interaction between different kinds of social agents in the funding and management of cult foundations for the dead in the late-classical and Hellenistic period. Textual and archaeological dossiers will be discussed in order to 1) investigate the occupation of sacred space in existing sanctuaries and other public spaces as well as the creation of new sacred places, specifically meant to host ritual practice for dead individuals or groups; 2) provide a comparative analysis of the patterns of establishment, funding and management of cult foundations pertaining to civic, royal, individual or groups' initiatives; 3) explore the forms of interaction between various agents involved, e.g. between civic and private initiative in funding and management. When possible, these considerations will also be integrated with an evaluation of the religious status attributed to the honoured persons, with particular attention to the semantic fields of heroization and deification. Thus an attempt will be made at tracking down possible general trends of religious administration beyond local particularities, and at schematizing these configurations in a model taking into account four factors: the social status of ritual agents and recipients; the religious status acknowledged to cult recipients; the methods of funding and management; the degree of monumentalization and social impact of the cult foundations. [less ▲]

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See detailMateriality matters: What do we learn from small inscribed objects related to ruler cults?
Caneva, Stefano ULiege

in Caneva, Stefano (Ed.) The Materiality of Hellenistic Ruler Cults (2018)

The contribution focuses on small objects such as portable altars, small bases, vessel, stone plaques and blocks inscribed with dedications for rulers in an attempt to provide an in-depth analysis of a ... [more ▼]

The contribution focuses on small objects such as portable altars, small bases, vessel, stone plaques and blocks inscribed with dedications for rulers in an attempt to provide an in-depth analysis of a type of material that has often been neglected or underexploited, because of its serial nature and the poor textual information it bears. By combining material analysis of scripture and support with archaeological data (when available), the paper aims 1) to set the evidence back in a dynamic historical context and 2) to provide a methodological reflection on the way we can deal with an abundant but often underestimated evidence. The risk for generalization inherent in the treatment of many uncharacterized stones as “altars” emerges from a reassessment of the Cypriot documentation for Ptolemaic rulers. Moreover, Ptolemaic and Attalid case studies allows for a reflection on the role of small ritual objects in the dissemination of ruler cult across social strata and in the integration of cultic honours for rulers in the ritual landscape of the studied communities, in public as in private space, in sanctuaries as along the city streets. [less ▲]

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See detailKing and Pharaoh: Religious Encounters and the Ruler Cult in Ptolemaic Egypt
Caneva, Stefano ULiege

in Beyond the Nile: Egypt and the Classical World (2018)

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See detail#ConnectingYouth Policy e-Booklet: Youth, Education and the Access to the EU Labour Market. A selection of research and policy texts on digital skills, active citizenship, multilingualism and #ConnectingYouth policy recommendations
Caneva, Stefano ULiege

Report (2017)

This e-book has the dual function of providing an introductory picture of current EU youth policy, which has constituted the working material for our workshops, and of delivering the policy ... [more ▼]

This e-book has the dual function of providing an introductory picture of current EU youth policy, which has constituted the working material for our workshops, and of delivering the policy recommendations designed by the #ConnectingYouth consortium during the project activities. [less ▲]

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See detailPracticalities of Hellenistic Ruler Cult (PHRC): Towards a semantic markup of ritual action and its social underpinnings
Caneva, Stefano ULiege

Conference (2017, February 17)

Practicalities of Hellenistic Ruler Cults (PHRC) is an ongoing (oct. 2015 – sept 2017) Marie Curie-funded project in Greek epigraphy and digital humanities focussing on the ritual action and the social ... [more ▼]

Practicalities of Hellenistic Ruler Cults (PHRC) is an ongoing (oct. 2015 – sept 2017) Marie Curie-funded project in Greek epigraphy and digital humanities focussing on the ritual action and the social agency of cults for rulers in Hellenistic Asia Minor, Cyprus and the Aegean Islands. It will produce a linked, open (CC BY-SA licensed) database of about 150 EpiDoc xml-encoded inscriptions (decrees and dedications) with commentary and translation (English, Italian). Users (researchers, teachers, students) can browse the database through Greek lemmata, English descriptors (support and content-related) and a geo-blog with active Open Streep Map-based maps. The challenge for PHRC consists in developing a consistent and flexible model for semantic tagging concerning both ritual practice and social agency. Europeana EAGLE vocabularies currently leave these domains unexplored as they focus on support-related descriptors. The recently released Liège project Collection of Greek Ritual Norms (CGRN) provides a first set of categories fit for Greek religion, while the semantic markup for social agency remains out of the remit of this project. Starting from this state of the art, PHRC aims at further developing, testing and sharing a coherent and augmentable model of semantic annotation for ritual action and agency related to cultic honours for human benefactors in the Hellenistic period. The paper showcases some of the challenges, solutions and problems met during the first year of development of the project. A speaking example is related to religious dedications, where semantic annotation must give account of the following data: vocabulary of the offering; the triangle actor/dedicated good/recipient; syntax of the dedication (genitive, dative, accusative, hyper + genitive); social status of the involved persons; context. [less ▲]

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See detailSigNet: A Digital Platform for Hellenistic Sealings and Archives
Caneva, Stefano ULiege

in Ioannides, Marinos (Ed.) Digital Heritage. Progress in Cultural Heritage: Documentation, Preservation, and Protection 6th International Conference, EuroMed 2016, Nicosia, Cyprus, October 31 – November 5, 2016, Proceedings, Part II (2016)

The paper provides an overview of the SigNet Project with special attention to the implementation of a digital agenda fitting the dual purpose of promoting scientific research in the specialized ... [more ▼]

The paper provides an overview of the SigNet Project with special attention to the implementation of a digital agenda fitting the dual purpose of promoting scientific research in the specialized disciplines of sigillography and numismatics and of bridging their gap with the broader field of cultural heritage. Focus is in particular on the role of interdisciplinary, open linked databases of big data and on the promotion of citizen science. [less ▲]

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See detailConfigurations publiques de Dionysos dans le cadre de l'hellénisation de Rome
Caneva, Stefano ULiege

in Pirenne, Vinciane; Bonnet, Corinne; Pironti, Gabriella (Eds.) Dieux des Grecs, dieux des Romains : panthéons en dialogue à travers l’histoire et l’historiographie (2016)

En 140/39 av. J.-C., une mission romaine composée, entre autres, de Scipion Emilien et du philosophe Panétios visita les alliés orientaux de Rome et se rendit notamment à Alexandrie. Le roi Ptolémée VIII ... [more ▼]

En 140/39 av. J.-C., une mission romaine composée, entre autres, de Scipion Emilien et du philosophe Panétios visita les alliés orientaux de Rome et se rendit notamment à Alexandrie. Le roi Ptolémée VIII y accueillit officiellement ces hôtes prestigieux, vêtu d’un habit étrange : un chiton long et subtil, dont les auteurs anciens réfèrent unanimement l’effet efféminé et caricatural, au point de susciter le rire des Romains et une condamnation du luxe effréné et décadent du royaume égyptien par comparaison avec la sobriété romaine. Il a fallu attendre une étude de H. Heinen en 1983 pour reconnaître, d’une part, l’envergure idéologique du lien entre la tenue de Ptolémée VIII – en fait empruntée à l’iconographie hellénistique de Dionysos – et la mise en scène officielle de la tryphè et du pouvoir royal et, de l’autre, le sens politique de la représentation caricaturale qu’en donna probablement déjà Panétios, représentation qui fut relayée et amplifiée par toute une tradition historiographique philo-romaine, qui se développa tout au long de la conquête romaine de la Méditerranée et ensuite à l’occasion du conflit entre Octavien et Antoine. Cette tradition nous a transmis, par le biais des auteurs de l’époque impériale, un discours fondé sur l’opposition entre Rome (et l’Italie), vertueuse source de citoyens et de soldats, et l’Orient dégénéré. Dans un tel cadre, Dionysos et le dionysisme sont sollicités pour servir à la construction d’un modèle accusatoire contre les ennemis de Rome, incarnant le désordre dans une dimension à la foi individuelle et institutionnelle. Mais est-ce que cette vision idéologique nous donne un portrait satisfaisant des rapports réels entre Rome et Dionysos / Bacchos / Liber Pater ? En partant de cette question, je propose dans ma contribution une approche visant à analyser, à l’aide de sources aussi littéraires que documentaires, les contextes de contact entre Rome et Dionysos de l’époque hellénistique au début du Principat, pour essayer de mettre en relief les relations entre, d’une part, la répulsion et le refus idéologiques du dionysisme, de l’autre les démarches d’appropriation et d’adaptation, à la culture romaine, de traits caractérisant les cultes hellénistiques de Dionysos et leurs utilisation dans la mise en forme des pratiques du pouvoir et de leurs représentations. [less ▲]

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See detailBeyond isolation: Re-positioning ruler cults in the Hellenistic culture
Caneva, Stefano ULiege

in Erga-Logoi. Rivista di storia, letteratura, diritto e culture dell'antichità (2016), 4(2), 9-15

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See detailRitual Intercession in the Ptolemaic Kingdom A Survey of Grammar, Semantics and Agency
Caneva, Stefano ULiege

in Erga-Logoi. Rivista di storia, letteratura, diritto e culture dell'antichità (2016), 4(2), 117-154

This paper explains dedications in the dative and with the hyper formula as bearing two distinct religious meanings and social implications, while also observing that they could be used in interaction in ... [more ▼]

This paper explains dedications in the dative and with the hyper formula as bearing two distinct religious meanings and social implications, while also observing that they could be used in interaction in order to express specific conceptual and social messages. The dative ritually positions the honoured rulers at the same level as traditional gods, whereas the hyper formula expresses ritual intercession by the gods for a third party. Ritual agents using hyper intended to share the merit of performing a ritual - and the consequent divine benevolence - with a third, often absent party. Besides its religious significance, performing a religious act in the name of, and for the benefit of a person also has economic and social implications. Thus ritual agents making use of the hyper formula could stress their social standing as well as express their personal bonds with the benefiting party. The broad perspective of the study (global and Ptolemaic perspectives; institutional and individual initiative; inscriptions and papyri) enables an encompassing understanding of the implications of dedicatory habits on the definition of the religious figure of the sovereigns, the ritual expression of social hierarchy and the intercultural encounters between Greeks and non-Greeks. [less ▲]

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See detailShort notes on 3rd-century Ptolemaic royal formulae and festivals
Caneva, Stefano ULiege

in Zeitschrift für Papyrologie und Epigraphik (2016), 200

This paper gathers five short notes on the message of dynastic continuity in 3rd-century Ptolemaic history, as it was expressed through literature, papyri, inscriptions and visual evidence. While the ... [more ▼]

This paper gathers five short notes on the message of dynastic continuity in 3rd-century Ptolemaic history, as it was expressed through literature, papyri, inscriptions and visual evidence. While the scope of each note is to revise the reading and/or the interpretation of some specific passages, together these contributions are meant to showcase the methodological importance of a systematic, inter-medial comparative study of royal formulae in order to provide an encompassing portrait of the cultural and political dynamics in a certain historical context. The first note focuses on a literary passage of Callixeinus’ On Alexandria, quoted in Athenaeus (V.202A–B); the second deals with a dedication to Ptolemy II and Arsinoe Philadelphos in Thera (IG XII, 3 1387); the third discusses two passages respectively from the synodal decree of Alexandria (243 BC) and from a papyrus reporting a decree of salt tax exemption issued by Ptolemy II (P. Hal. 1); the fourth and fifth notes provide an improved interpretation of two inscriptions, respectively from Phoenicia (Rey-Coquais 2006 = SEG LVI 1880) and Cyrenaica (OGIS 33 = IGCyr 033700). [less ▲]

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See detailFrom Alexander to the Theoi Adelphoi: Foundation and Legitimation of a Dynasty
Caneva, Stefano ULiege

Book published by Peeters (2016)

This book provides a cultural and social history of the rise and legitimation of the concept of dynastic continuity in the early history of the Ptolemaic Empire. The scope of the study is therefore ... [more ▼]

This book provides a cultural and social history of the rise and legitimation of the concept of dynastic continuity in the early history of the Ptolemaic Empire. The scope of the study is therefore neither to provide a general overview of third-century Ptolemaic history, nor to discuss in detail the administrative and economic structures of the Ptolemaic state. Rather, its purpose is to investigate the ways by which the first Ptolemies negotiated and constructed a representation of their power as a dynastic house aspiring to universal dominion, protected by the gods and legitimately continuing the heritage of the Macedonian and Egyptian monarchies. It is argued that they managed to do so by operating within different socio-cultural and ethnic milieus and by pursuing their strategies on a two-fold level: on the one hand, by continuously reshaping the relationship between the present events of the ruling house and its historical and mythical past, so as to adapt it to new political and cultural agendas; on the other hand, by shifting the border between the spheres of human and divine power in order to ensure themselves the legitimacy and loyalty stemming from religious thought and practice. Discussed evidence comprises Greek and Egyptian sources, literary and documentary texts, iconographic and archaeological evidence from the Macedonian conquest of Egypt under Alexander to the ascension of Ptolemy III Euergetes. Whenever possible, a new, encompassing evaluation of old evidence has gained new impetus from the intensive analysis of newly published sources. Secondly, the complex cultural and social factors operating in the construction and legitimation of the Ptolemaic dynasty have been discussed by drawing on the contribution of up-to-date scholarship in cultural and religious history as well as in sociology. The rooting of Ptolemaic power in Egypt and the Eastern Mediterranean is studied as the movement from the immediate but unstable right of conquest established by Alexander, and subsequently claimed by the satrap Ptolemy, to the development of a mature and coherent system of power practices and representations. The structure of the book is meant to provide readers with a chronological and thematic discussion ranging from Alexander’s conquest of Egypt to the first years of Ptolemy III. However, the six chapters that constitute this study can also be read separately as they are conceived as the monographic treatment of major moments or aspects of the cultural, political, and religious history of the early Hellenistic period. Chapter 1 deals with the premises of Ptolemaic power in Egypt by focusing on the time of Alexander’s conquest. The implications of Alexander’s sonship to Zeus Ammon in propaganda and in religion are reviewed by drawing attention to the plurality of audiences (Macedonians, Greeks, Egyptians) for which this motif was conceived and used. Chapter 2 discusses the conflicting patterns of legitimation in the age of the Successors and how Ptolemy exploited them in his rise from satrap to king. Some seminal moments of Ptolemy’s career are re-examined: the acquisition of Alexander’s corpse as a source of embodied legitimacy; the interactions between the leader and pre-existing Macedonian and Egyptian elites as they appear in assembly scenes of Greek historiography and in the hieroglyphic Satrap stele; Ptolemy’s help to the Rhodians against Antigonus and Demetrius and the entanglement between royal charisma and religious honours. Chapter 3 focuses on the figure of Dionysus in Ptolemaic religion and culture from a twofold perspective. Firstly, the chapter provides an innovative analysis of the religious and ideological role of Dionysus in Ptolemy II’s Alexandrian procession described by Callixeinus of Rhodes. Secondly, it aims at offering a contribution for a reappraisal of the figure of Dionysus, of his cults and of the role of his figure within the larger context of the Ptolemaic Empire in the third century BC. Chapter 4 discusses the patterns of divinization of Arsinoe II within the royal couple through the most complete documentary dossier collected thus far on the subject. Rather than constituting the aim of the research, the debate concerning the chronology of Arsinoe’s death and divinization has provided the rough framework for a new investigation of how the image of a solid royal couple was invented and spread in religious life and in propaganda. Diachronic developments in the configurations of the dynastic couple are traced through Greek and Egyptian evidence and discussed in relation to the changing of political agendas during the reign of Ptolemy II. Chapter 5 studies the contribution of Ptolemy III to the construction of Ptolemaic dynastic continuity through old and new evidence, notably by providing fresh observations concerning the recently published decree of Alexandria (243 BC) for the understanding of Ptolemaic royal festivals in general and, more in particular, for the history of the festival Ptolemaia in the second half of the 3rd century BC. Chapter 6 breaks with chronological continuity to trace, through literary and documentary evidence from the Roman period, the development of the tradition envisaging Alexander’s body as a talismanic relic protecting the city of Alexandria. The purpose of this epilogue is to provide a methodological essay of interpretation of cultural traditions in the longue durée, when patterns of continuity developed under the Ptolemies were separated from their original context of diffusion and consequently were re-used to shape the civic identity of Alexandria within the new and broader framework of the Roman Empire. Although focus on the construction of a dynasty as a sequence of legitimate, kindred holders of monarchic power makes Ptolemaic kings and queens the central object of this study, it is argued that sovereigns cannot be considered as the sole holders of the initiative in the political, ideological and religious processes relating to the construction of royal and dynastic imagery. On the contrary, it appears that social agents other than the holders of supreme leadership not only reacted to top-down stimulation, but they also constructed, for their own use, representations of the monarchs that interacted with the message issued by the central power. From this perspective, therefore, dynastic continuity results from the intertextual combination of a variety of ideological and religious motifs stemming from different agents and occasions of communication. [less ▲]

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