Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Ingo Schaaf - Kyria Athenais. Transformations of Pallas and Parthenon in Late Antique Athens

And now for the final of the abstracts for the Athena event on Friday 3 June - from Ingo Schaaf, of the University of Konstanz

Kyria Athenais. Transformations of Pallas and Parthenon in Late Antique Athens

“In the whole history of the transformation of Ancient cult names and sanctuaries into Christian ones, there is no example of such an easy and total permutation as it is the one of Pallas Athena and the Virgin Mary” (Gregorovius 1889: 64). Statements like these are paradigmatic for approaching the Athenian goddess in her Late Antique urban environment (see also Kraus 1950). However, it is far from granted that ‘the Lady of Athens’ (cf. Marin. Procl. 30) – still a city of high cultural appeal to Pagans and Christians alike (Wenzel 2010) – handed over her residence that smoothly. In fact, as recently shown, one cannot exclude more violent forms of transition in the case of Athena’s temple on the Acropolis (Pollini 2008).
Reviewing the textual narratives and the archaeological record pertaining to Athena and her most prominent cult site eventually turned into a “Christian Parthenon” (Kaldellis 2009), the paper investigates the goddess’s shifting role in her city, thus contributing to the larger discourse on Ancient mythology in Late Antique contexts (Leppin 2015).
Works cited
Gregorovius 1889 Gregorovius, F., Geschichte der Stadt Athen im Mittelalter 1, Stuttgart 1889.
Kaldellis 2009 Kaldellis, A., The Christian Parthenon. Classicism and pilgrimage in Byzantine Athens, Cambridge 2009.
Kraus 1950 Kraus, W., s.v. Athena, RAC 1 (1950), 870-881.
Leppin 2015 Leppin, H., Einleitung: Antike Mythologie in christlichen Kontexten der Spätantike, in: idem (ed): Antike Mythologie in christlichen Kontexten der Spätantike (Millennium-Studien 54), Berlin-Munich-Boston 2015, 1-18.
Mango 1995 Mango, C., The conversion of the Parthenon into a Church: The Tübingen Theosophy, DCAE 18 (1995), 201-203.
Pollini 2008 Pollini, J., Christian desecration and mutilation of the Parthenon, MDAI(A) 122 (2008), 207-228.
Wenzel 2010 Wenzel, A., Libanius, Gregory of Nazianzus, and the ideal of
Athens in Late Antiquity, JLA 3 (2010), 264-285.

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