Abstracts du I symposium

Anna ANDROVITSANEA – Hydraulic Installations at the Sanctuary of Amphiaraos: Ancient Documentation of a Construction Site

Inscriptions located at the sanctuary of Amphiaraos constitute an instance of « open government data » in antiquity, providing access to public information regarding the planned and implemented building projects at the site. The inscriptions, which were found in situ and date from around the middle of the 4th century B.C.E., attest to the existence of a building program involving hydraulic systems. They discuss the scope of work, budgetary and time constraints, as well as the contractor in charge of the relevant constructions, providing us with valuable information about the operation of the construction site.

The text specifically documents the construction of a drainage system and a bath complex in detail, as well as the rehabilitation of a fountain and two bath complexes, thus providing valuable information on the topology of the sanctuary. Importantly, an inscription makes explicit mention of the existence of a state appointed position for a person responsible for the maintenance of these hydraulic installations, regarded as a statesmanship, indicating once more the importance of their operation.

The Ampiaraeion formed the main sanctuary of the polis of Oropos, founded by Amphiaraos, a healer and a seer, in the last quarter of the 5th century B.C.E. The sanctuary, located 37.2km to the northeast of Athens, consists of many interesting buildings, which derive from different epochs and construction phases, having changed hands between the Athenians, the Boeotians and the Romans. The constructions taking place at the site typically include modifications and expansion of the hydraulic installations, catering to the buildings in need.

The complexity and adaptation of the hydraulic system, along with the expansion and transformation of the sanctuary provides us with illuminating information on the evolution of ancient hydraulic science and on the different techniques used to store and distribute water, in addition to influencing the micro-climate of a site.

Signe BARFOED – The Nymph Nemea and Water Supply to the Archaic Sanctuary of Zeus

This paper investigates the connection of a rural shrine near the Adresteia spring at Nemea and the water supply to the Archaic Sanctuary of Zeus nearby. An unpublished votive deposit related to the spring shrine is presented and it will be discussed which deity was associated with the spring, perhaps a Corinthian version of Demeter, or the water-nymph Nemea, the eponymous nymph of the valley, river, and games in the area.

The written sources, such as Pindar, Euripides, and Pausanias, provide us with information about both the topography and the myth related to origins of the Pan-Hellenic games at Nemea. Euripides might have staged the fatal myth of the baby Opheltes and his premature death, which lead to the initiation of the Nemean games, at the Adresteia spring at Nemea.

The objects from the shrine’s votive deposit 700 m east of the Zeus sanctuary predates the buildings of wells in the sanctuary, and the spring related to the Archaic rural shrine might indeed be the only available water source in the area. In the Classical period this spring is known to have provided water for the bath building in the sanctuary testified by both architectural remains and orthostates from an aqueduct leading to the Sanctuary of Zeus.

Excavations by the University of Berkeley in the 1970s have revealed evidence of an early streambed in the course of the spring leading to the sanctuary, and the construction of wells in the Sanctuary of Zeus did not begin until 100 years after the Early Temple of Zeus was constructed in the 6th century BC, which means that for a long period the sanctuary must have acquired their water from elsewhere.

The location of the spring shrine in the vicinity of the Sanctuary of Zeus on a low ravine, the assemblage of votives and plain-ware vessels, and the topography of the area suggest that the spring shrine may have had flexible ritual functions and have served to accommodate many different kinds of cultic purposes in the area that being fertility related to agriculture and womanhood, as well as rites of passages for boys and girls on the brink to adulthood. The importance of clean water for both domestic and ritual used cannot be underestimated for the population in rural Nemea. The relationship of nymph worship, the spring shrine, and the Zeus’ sanctuary’s water supply discussed in this paper has not been previously explored.

Betsey A. ROBINSON – Places and Poetics, Figures and Narratives

I shall consider water in Greek imaginaire, focusing on the lands around the Corinthian Gulf, and mapping the integral place of watery imagery in ancient landscapes and culture. Every spring is fixed in place and in space. Interventions in first-millennium BCE Greece were highly constrained by local geomorphology and gravity. Most rural springs, like those in mountain caves were minimally improved, while urban spring-houses and fountains became an important class of monumental architecture. There are occasional departures from conventions, as in the case of Corinthian Peirene, where a functional spring-house was complemented by an artificial grotto for the presiding nymph. Rivers, streams, and springs are powerful poetic matter. Rivers may rush bullishly or trickle down to nothing; in central Greece, few flow all year. Springs were named for the daughters of the father of all rivers, Acheloos, or regionally important rivers like the Asopos. These poetic figures materialize in the visual arts. Guaranteeing abundance and purity, and thus protecting human interests around each source, nymphs came to represent cities, sanctuaries, and peoples. Appearing as if by miracle, springs were products of divine intervention—here struck from rock by a god or hero, there the essence of a woman or her tears, transformed. And they were places of encounters with the gods, always transformative—for instance, the taming of Pegasos, ill-fated sightings of virgin goddesses bathing, possession by Nymphs, inspiration from the Muses, or the oracular voice of Apollo. Genealogical, etiological, and mythical narratives were told and retold in words and images, upholding the sanctity of all water, explaining origins and states of being, anchoring identity, and underwriting common histories.

Sophie BOUFFIER – Arethusa and Cyane, nymphs and springs in Syracuse: Between Greece and Sicily

La communication proposera d’examiner les exemples d’Aréthuse et de Cyané, deux sources du territoire syracusain qui ont connu une certaine gloire dans le monde antique. L’une, Aréthuse, était une nymphe d’Artémis, originaire du Péloponnèse, qui aurait traversé les mers pour échapper à la fougue du fleuve olympien Alphée. Une fois sur le sol d’Ortygie, au cœur de la fondation corinthienne, elle aurait été métamorphosée en source par sa patronne, et le fleuve l’aurait suivie et aurait uni ses eaux aux siennes, instaurant ainsi un lien éternel entre le Péloponnèse, patrie du dieu des dieux et la Sicile, terre de diaspora grecque. Par opposition, Cyané est une nymphe autochtone qui se serait opposée à Hadès lors du rapt de Coré et que le dieu aurait transformée en source pour la punir. Ces deux sources ont la particularité d’avoir été intégrées dans le patrimoine mythique de la culture grecque et d’avoir ainsi dépassé les frontières de leur île d’adoption. Dès la fin du VIe s. av. J.-C. au moins Aréthuse est évoquée par les sources textuelles et à la source de Cyané, Diodore de Sicile décrit des sacrifices très anciens, qui dateraient de la venue d’Héraclès en Sicile. Lieux probables de culte, ces sources sont également des instruments de la fertilité territoriale et de la fécondité féminine de l’apoikia corinthienne. On cherchera à mettre en exergue le rôle symbolique qu’elles ont joué toutes les deux à la fois dans la culture syracusaine et dans la koinè panhellénique.

The paper will examine two examples of springs, Arethusa and Cyane, which are situated in Syracusan territory and have known some glory during Antiquity. According to legend, the first one, Arethusa, Artemis’ nymph, was a Peloponnesian native who crossed the seas to escape the Olympian Alpheus River’s lust. Once aground on Ortygia, at the heart of the Corinthian colony of Syracuse, she would have been transformed into a spring by her patron goddess, and the river who followed her would have thrown its waters into her streams, so establishing an eternal link between the Peloponnesus, motherland of Gods’ King, and Sicily, land of Greek diaspora. For her part, Cyane was a native nymph who confronted the God Hades during his rape of Core in Syracusan territory. He punished her by changing her into a spring. Both have been integrated in Syracusan cultural and religious heritage: Arethusa is one of the most popular figures of ancient literature about nymphs, from Pindar, the first author that undoubtedly mentioned her, down to Imperial Latin writers. According to Diodorus Siculus, Herakles inaugurated worship near Cyane Spring. Both are the instruments of fertility of the land and of Syracusan women. The paper will highlight the material and symbolic role they play in Syracusan culture and Hellenic koine.

Oscar BELVEDERE & Stefano VASSALLO – Le acque calde imeresi, tra mito e storia: da Himera  a Thermai Himeraiai

A study of the Herakles sanctuary at Termini before the foundation of Termini Imerese and its continuity and changes during Hellenistic and Roman times, with an epilogue for Modern and Contemporary uses.

Olga DAKOURA-VOBIATZOGLOU – Searching the Water at the Sanctuaries of the Western Hills

The rocky landscape of the Muses-Pnyx-Nymphs Hills opposite the Acropolis, with traces of ancient inhabitation deeply engraved in its terrain, is the development area of two important demes, namely Melite and Koile. In their area, older and recent researches have revealed numerous wells and cisterns as well as water supply systems, which prove the concern of the inhabitants to preserve this valuable element in every way from the archaic period until the late roman years. The purgative and cathartic properties of water are recognized by the civilizations of all peoples and in all periods of their history. The need for water in the sacred shrines and sacred groves in order to cover the needs of officiating and of visitors was ensured either from independent sources or from wells and reservoirs or from water supply systems that conveyed water to them.

This presentation explores the presence of water at the known sanctuaries of the Western Hills through archaeological remains. The water supply elements of the ancient sanctuaries of Zeus and the Nymphs, the memorial-sanctuary of Mousaios and the Muses on the Museum Hill and the roadside sanctuary of Loubardiaris are recorded and studied. This first recording shows the concentration of canals and water supply sources usually in the core of the sanctuaries, which allows us to associate the use of water with ceremonies and sacrificial practices.

Maria DOUROU – The Sanctuary of the Nymphs and Demos. Evidence of the Recent Research

The existence of the sanctuary of the Nymphs on the top of the so-called Asteroskopeion Hill (the Observatory Hill), is known from the early 19th century when the rock-cut inscription “HIERON NYMΦΟΝ DEMO” was spotted and edited by Kiriakos Pittakis (1835). The sanctuary is not attested in the ancient literary sources and the Nymphs who were worshipped there were unknown.

The excavation at the sanctuary was conducted by the First Ephorate of Classical Antiquities in 2000. The excavations brought to light two deposits containing a large amount of fragmentary pottery and a great number of hand-made and molded figurines dated from the sixth till the first decades of the fifth century BC. The investigation also brought to light a new inscription, “ΚΟΝΕΙΔΟΝ,” cut on the bed-rock which is the name of an Attic genos.

The sanctuary of the Nymphs was very popular as is evident from the great number of votive offerings found there. The sanctuary was serving the cultic needs not only the deme of Melite but also of the greater area since the worship of the Nymphs in the very ancient caves was replaced by new cultic activities.

Iván FUMADÓ ORTEGA – Flux et reflux religieux en Méditerranée phénicienne et punique : L’eau, instrument de propagande idéologique et politique

Dans mon exposé je propose un état de la recherche réalisée dans le cadre du projet « HYDRΩMED – La gestion des ressources hydrauliques en Méditerranée au 1er millénaire avant notre ère », sur les cultes des eaux et la culture de l’eau dans les milieux phéniciens et puniques. Au point de départ, on constate la relative fréquence avec laquelle on trouve, même dans la bibliographie spécifique, des allusions à une très grande signification de l’eau dans la mythologie et les cultes de ces communautés anciennes, alors que, dans le même temps, manque une étude systématique de l’ensemble de données à disposition sur ce sujet.

Mon exposé est organisé en trois parties : dans la première, on montrera de façon très succincte des sites archéologiques de grande importance pour l’étude de la présence et de l’absence de l’eau dans l’espace cultuel phénicien, avec l’intention d’illustrer des questions qui ont motivé cette recherche : existe-t-il un culte phénicien de l’eau ? L’utilisation de l’eau dans les sanctuaires phéniciens et puniques est-elle incontournable ? Est-elle vraiment spécifique par rapport à d’autres sociétés anciennes ? Y-a-t-il des variations chronologiques dans cette utilisation cultuelle de l’eau ? Ces variations ont-elles été influencées par des événements économiques ou politiques, comme l’expansion phénicienne en Méditerranée, les conquêtes assyriennes des cités phéniciennes ou par les guerres puniques ? Les sites brièvement visités seront le sanctuaire d’Eschmoun à Bostan es-Seikh, près de l’ancienne cité de Sidon (Liban), le Ma’abet à Amrit (Tartous, Syrie), le sanctuaire de Kition-Kathari (Larnaka, Chypre), le soi-disant « kothon » de Mozia, à l’extrémité occidentale de la Sicile et le sanctuaire de El Carambolo, sur la rive du Guadalquivir opposée à la moderne ville de Séville (Espagne).

Une deuxième partie proposera la présentation des éléments principaux de la base de données réalisée sur les sanctuaires phéniciens et puniques : les chronologies de fondation et abandon des sanctuaires, la divinité à laquelle ils sont consacrés, la présence ou l’absence des structures de type hydraulique, notamment des citernes, puits, piscines ou canalisations, la chronologie de la construction et de l’abandon de ces structures, la ritualisation d’une source d’eau, etc. Cette base de données a été conçue avec des perspectives géographiques et chronologiques vastes, qui comprennent le Méditerranée du Bronze Final jusqu’à la fin de notre ère.

La troisième et dernière partie présentera l’ensemble des données réunies jusqu’au présent et, de la même façon, les résultats obtenus avec les premières requêtes. Parmi ces premières conclusions on soulignera le grand nombre de sanctuaires phéniciens qui n’ont utilisé aucune structure hydraulique pour leur culte, l’essor de ces installations, notamment des citernes, à partir de l’époque dite hellénistique, et la pluralité des situations documentées, notamment en ce qui concerne le culte d’une même divinité.

John HOPKINS – Shifting Currents: A Reflexive Etiology of Hydraulic Exploitation and Urban Cohesion in Early Rome

For over a century, scholars have sought evidence and methodologies to define the birth-moment of Rome. Usually this is in service of a history of the city from origin to empire and is used to explain the specialness of the city. This birth moment has been linked to the coalescence of tombs on the eastern hills in the 8th century, the foundation of major architecture in the Forum as late as the early sixth century, the textual tradition, which posits a date of 753, and the so-called wall of Romulus on the Palatine. There is no consensus on date or rubric, but one thing is clear: water has not played a central role in the debates. In recent work, I have argued that such a single moment never existed, that the cohesion of Rome as city and state was an ongoing event that began already in the « proto-urban » period and continued long after that. The gestation was steeped in many different currents: mortuary, architectural, religious, legal, geographic and hydraulic. In this talk, I look to material evidence for such shift alongside studies of the locations of settlements in the region, the importance of water to social cohesion, and the special circumstance of the Roman geography. I assess the state of the evidence and the particular needs of the community in an attempt to determine whether the use and maintenance of the natural and man-made hydraulic environment was perhaps part of a long, reflexive shift from divided communities to a cohesive Roman city.

Theodora B. KOPESTONSKY – Offerings and Ritual at Corinthian Springs

Every community, ancient or modern, requires fresh water to survive. Due to their integral part in the lives of people, it is not surprising then to see that springs, fountains, and wells were key features of daily life. Ancient Greeks visited these water sources, collected water, met with others, and returned with their bounty to their homes, fields, workshops, and the like. To the ancient Greeks, however, some water sources were more than simply places to acquire a basic necessity; a few springs and fountains developed into sacred spaces where rituals occurred and offerings were dedicated.  Springs and fountains were often incorporated into sanctuaries and could even become the focus of cult activity.

Corinth, a polis known for being “well-watered” (IG I3 1143) according to Simonides, encompasses several springs associated with ritual activity dating from the Archaic to Hellenistic periods.  While Peirene Fountain may be the most well-known and ornate fountain, the Sacred Spring is the most significant example of a water-related cult site in Corinth. Other springs, notably Kokkinovrysi, though lacking few, if any, architectural features, can also being associated with ritual practice by significant votive assemblages.  In particular, it is these assemblages of votive offerings at or near springs which reveal that the water had significance to the local population. Moreover, the types of dedications offer tantalizing clues into possible rituals at the site. This paper provides a preliminary analysis of the small finds, especially the terracotta figurines, at spring cult sites in Corinth, focusing particularly on the Sacred Spring and Kokkinovrysi, in order to establish dedicatory tendencies and possible rites there.

Located in the upper Lechaion valley, the Sacred Spring began as a natural spring but became a sanctuary as early as the middle of the 8th century B.C. and continued in use until 146 B.C. Its position across the road from Peirene Fountain, just north of the race course, and south of the Doric temple, placed it in the heart of the polis and suggests that it may have had an important civic as well as religious role. During the majority of its existence, the Sacred Spring consisted of a two level complex including an apsidal temple, triglyph-metope retaining wall with a secret passage, a springhouse, and an open area. It was one of the first major monuments excavated at Corinth and as such has a long history in the scholarship, but surprisingly the small finds have never previously been systematically studied. These finds which include articulated female figurines, possibly dolls, standing and seated female figurines, loomweights, jewelry, animal figurines, and even a few bronze arrowheads, allow for a discussion about the nature of dedications at the Sacred Spring. In contrast, the roadside Kokkinovrysi stele shrine has a short life, primarily in use from the late 5th to the end of the 4th century B.C. Located outside the western city wall near to the Kokkinovrysi (red water) spring which gives the area its name, the shrine is small and likely serviced a more rural population.

Two deposits, one of terracotta figurines consisting of mainly dancing groups, standing female figurines and animals and another of votive ceramics were recovered from the sanctuary. When compared to other similar assemblages and water-related cult sites, it appears that these water-related sanctuaries were important to women and may suggest that some sort of transitional rituals, possibly female maturation rites, were conducted here. Understanding the character of the finds from Sacred Spring and Kokkinovrysi helps to illuminate the importance of water and its use in the sacred sphere at Corinth.

Andrew STEWART – Bathing Beauties. An Early Hellenistic Bronze Case-Mirror from Elis

A bronze case-mirror showing four young women showering under a waterfall in a rocky landscape, discovered in a grave at Stafidokampos near the ancient city of Elis, published by Xeni Arapoyanni in 1999, raises a number of questions about women’s health, hygiene, and personal care in the early Hellenistic period. After briefly discussing its technique, I use Robert Sutton’s work on Zeuxis’s famous Helen and my own on fourth-century nude Aphrodites to help sketch the history of the scene, and then turn to identifying the participants. Fortunately, Pausanias (6.22.7) furnishes the necessary information. They are the Ionides, four nymphs whose sanctuary he visited near a healing spring that fed into the river Kytheros, about fifty stades from Olympia. So this case-mirror must have been specially commissioned for a woman who had been cured there, presumably the occupant of the grave in which it was found. I end by reconstructing two alternative scenarios to explain all this, and urging that her bones, if still extant, be examined by a specialist for what they might reveal about her true biography.

Bronwen WICKKISER – ‘Water is Cold and Wet’: Some Reflections on Water in Early Greek Medicine and the Cult of Asklepios

Scholars have long recognized that sanctuaries of the healing god Asklepios, patron deity of physicians, tend to be characterized by an abundance of water, from wells and fountains to cisterns and baths.  Often in scholarship the purpose of all this water is said to be therapeutic, but little attention is paid to how in particular the water might have been used (e.g., for bathing?  ingesting?).  In this paper, I will revisit several early sanctuaries of Asklepios, with a focus on Epidauros, to review their water features as well as testimony from the cult itself and from early medical treatises for therapeutic uses of water.  Finally, I will draw on later evidence, specifically an oration of Aelius Aristides, to propose some functions for water in the god’s sanctuaries that are not strictly therapeutic but that I hope will get us thinking about other ways of understanding the potencies of water within this very popular ancient cult.

James R. WISEMAN – A Greek-Period Bath and Fountain Complex at the Northern Edge of Corinth

A bath and fountain complex, known often as the Fountain of the Lamps, is a combined underground and outdoors facility in the Gymnasium area at the northern edge of the ancient city of Corinth. It served the people of Corinth and as well as some visitors for some 900 years, from at least the 3rd century B.C. until the mid 6th century A.D. There was in an interruption from the time Corinth lost its status as a city in 146 B.C. until it was refounded by Julius Caesar in 46 B.C., and a part of it became a place of cult in the 4th century A.D., after the site no longer served its original functions. A group of scholars, including the original director of excavations, is now engaged in preparing a series of publications dealing with this site and its cultural materials, and the present paper will focus on its earlier phase, from the 3rd to the 1st century B.C.

The complex was rediscovered by archaeologists following the underground tunnel that brought water to the NW reservoir of the fountain area of the Sanctuary of Asklepios. Whey were in search of springs that might have been the source of water for that reservoir. Instead, they came onto an underground and circuitous access to an underground bathing room that had been converted in the fourth century into a place of cult where literally thousands of terracotta lamps and other offerings had been deposited by worshippers. The bath had six connected bathing basins in it, all originally Hellenistic in date, and was supplied with water through an intricate arrangement of channels and tunnels. The bath and two other channels had entrances on the north side into a courtyard open to the sky, but buried in colluvial and dumped deposits that filled the swimming pool in its center and covered the complex to a depth of nearly 7 meters, so hiding it from view. In this presentation we will look at the early bath and the channels that brought water to it, the floors of the courtyard, a fountain area next to the bath, and other facilities of the Hellenistic complex.

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