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11. The Aiginetan Mesocosm and the ‘Panhellenic Religious Dimension’

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Chapter Summary

This chapter describes how the panhellenic elements that combine to produce the particulars of the Aiginetan mesocosm relate to and explain what Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood labeled the "panhellenic religious dimension". It examines aspects of Greek religious life to show that the Greeks operated in several cognitive and ritual dimensions, in some of which they on occasion were part of one common religious system, and in others of which they belonged to different religious systems. Finally, one may note that the panhellenic status of Olympia or Delphi referred only to the eligibility of access to ritual activities at their sites, and had no bearing on authority over epichoric religious affairs, unless the Delphic oracle was specifically consulted on this matter: in general, there was no central Greek authority that could dictate what Greeks did in their individual state.

Keywords: Aiginetan mesocosm; Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood; Delphi; Greek religious life; Olympia; panhellenic religious dimension



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