Idia kai demosia: Les cadres 'privés' et 'publics' de la religion grecque antique. Actes du IXe colloque du CIERGA, tenu à Fribourg du 8 au 10 septembre 2003 [Review]

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Book Review

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Les cadres 'privés' et 'publics' de la religion grecque antique gathers papers originally given at a conference of the same name held in Fribourg in 2003. Inspired by a 1995 colloquium in Paris on the notions of public and private in ancient Greece, the editors describe the aims of the Fribourg conference as a reexamination of these concepts in the context of Greek religious practices. The volume covers a wide range of topics from Homeric language to Egyptian sanctuaries in the Roman period. Most of the essays are detailed case studies that focus on specific problems, while a few consider broader questions; taken together, they provide a complex and evolving picture of the link between private and public in Greek cult. Many essays highlight the lack of correspondence between ancient and modern categories. If there is no strict opposition between private and public to be found, the volume shows that the various ways in which the individual and the communal realms are interconnected offer a fascinating perspective on Greek thought. This is especially true of cult, where individual experience acquires significance only by being articulated in the community. Some of the essays could have benefited from firmer editorial control: a few give the impression of having made the transition from talk to paper with little revision, and some of the repetitive introductory material that prefaces several articles could have been brought together more profitably in the introduction. Despite these drawbacks, the volume as a whole asks important questions and offers stimulating answers. While few will read the volume cover to cover, all should find several essays relevant to their research.


Bryn Mawr College


Bryn Mawr, PA

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Bryn Mawr Classical Review