Orfeas Wärdig Tsoukalas Quartet

Representing Sweden at Athens Jazz Festival, 2015

The Swedish Institute at Athens has invited the jazz band Orfeas Wärdig Tsoukalas Quartet to perform at the

  • 15th Athens Technopolis Jazz Festival on Friday June 5, 2015 at 21.00 hrs.

Before that a concert will also be held in the city of Kavala on Wednesday June 3 2015, at 21.00 hrs at Halil Bey or “Palia Mousiki”.

Aegean Lecture

J. Zurbach & R. Orgeolet, ˮReappraising Kirrha. New evidence on landscape, economy and society from Southern Phocisˮ

The Swedish Institute at Athens and Aegeus – Society for Aegean Prehistory invite you to the lecture:

Reappraising Kirrha. New evidence on landscape,
economy  and society from Southern Phocis

Julien Zurbach & Raphaël Orgeolet

Friday 22 May 2015, 19:00 (Μitseon 9, Acropolis Metro station).

The Athens Greek Religion Seminar

J.-M. Carbon & E. Harris

Double Greek Religion Seminar, by Jan-Mathieu Carbon and Edward Harris,

Tuesday 19 May 2015 (Μitseon 9, Acropolis Metro station).


The Athens Greek Religion Seminar

P. Strolonga, ˮShaping Religious Beliefs: The Case of the Major Homeric Hymnsˮ

12 May 2015, 15:00
Swedish Institute at Athens (Mitseon 9, Akropolis metro station)

Polyxeni Strolonga, ASCSA
“Shaping Religious Beliefs: The Case of the Major Homeric Hymns”


Scholars often link the Homeric Hymns with certain rituals and festivals in order to assign an aetiological function to them or to locate them in a religious performative context. In this line of interpretation the Homeric Hymn to Demeter reflects the Eleusinian Mysteries (Foley 1993; contra Clinton 1992:28-37 who links it with the Thesmophoria), the Homeric Hymn to Apollo provides an aetiology for Apollo’s three cults and a foundation myth for the Delphic oracle (see Chappell 2006), and the Homeric Hymn to Hermes was performed at the Hermaia, an athletic festival in the god’s honor (Johnston 2002; contra Vergados 2012: 150-153). Even the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite, which lacks any obvious cultic dimensions, has been linked to rituals of the adoration and the cleansing of cult images (Breitenberger 2007; cf. Faulkner 2008 who views the hymn purely as secular court poetry). My paper by treating the Hymns as religious poetry dissociates them from specific ritual contexts and relocates them in a panhellenic belief system. A structuralistic and anthropological approach to the Hymns indicates that these poems, which express a theological speculation (Clay 2012) even if they are not cult hymns (Clay 1989), portray gods in such a way so as they display a consistent behavior with respect to their reciprocal relationships with humans. In the narrative of the Homeric Hymns the gods employ quid pro quo and do ut des exchanges in place of punishment (e.g. Aphrodite and Anchises) and they present rituals and priesthood as the ideal reciprocal communication between gods and humans (e.g. Apollo and his priests). The consistency in which gods reciprocate with humans in a religious context and the positive nature of the gods’ offerings constitute a rationalization for the practice of reciprocity and reflect religious beliefs with a panhellenic appeal as the Homeric Hymns shape the mortals’ perception of the Greek Pantheon beyond local cults.


Clay, Jenny Strauss. The Politics of Olympus : Form and Meaning in the Major Homeric Hymns. Princeton, 1989.
—. “Theology and Religion in the Homeric Hymns”, in Richard Bouchon, Pascale Brillet-Dubois, Nadine Le Meur-Weissman (eds.), Hymnes de la Grèce antique. Approches littéraires et historiques : actes du colloque international de Lyon, 19-21 juin 2008 (Lyon), 2012 : 315-322.
Chappell, Michael. 2006. Delphi and the Homeric Hymn to Apollo. CQ 56.2: 331-48.
Clinton, Kevin. Myth and Cult: The Iconography of the Eleusinian Mysteries. Stockholm, 1992 .
Faulkner, Andrew. “The Legacy of Aphrodite: Anchises’ Offspring in the Homeric Hymn to Aphrodite.” American Journal of Philology 129.1 (2008): 1-18.
Foley, Helene P. The Homeric Hymn to Demeter : Translation, Commentary, and Interpretive Essays. Princeton, 1994.
Johnston, Sarah Iles. “Myth, Festival, and Poet: The Homeric Hymn to Hermes and Its Performative Context.” Classical Philology 97.2 (2002): 109.
Vergados, Athanassios. A Commentary on the “Homeric Hymn to Hermes. Berlin, 2012.

The Athens Greek Religion Seminar

E. Balomenou, ˮWere Gods Meant to Entertain? Exploring Performativity, Theatricality and Entertainment in the Aegean Bronze Age Religionˮ

21 April 2015, 15:00
Swedish Institute at Athens (Mitseon 9, Akropolis metro station)

Elene Balomenou (University of Athens)
“Were Gods Meant to Entertain? Exploring Performativity, Theatricality and Entertainment in the Aegean Bronze Age Religion.’’

The religious cult in the Aegean Bronze Age has been thoroughly explored by the study of the available iconographical and architectural data of the Minoan and the Mycenaean material culture, by its extensive comparison with other contemporary prehistoric cultures and evidently by its relation to the posterior ancient Greek religion. Subsequently, in light of the various theoretical patterns and of the recent disciplines emerging in the past century, the Aegean Bronze Age religion was developed as a component of socioeconomic investigation while the remaining evidence of its ritual practice was observed at some length in the field of anthropological interpretation. Since this religious ritual practice has been highlighted as religious ritual action, the foundations have been laid in order to extend our notion of the Aegean Bronze Age religion and situate it as center of live experience, demonstration activity and subsequently as the scenery of a staged spectacle and display. The aim of this paper will be to point out the dialectic infusion among these dimensions, which seems to source as religious symbolic action but could as well flow as a vivid entertaining performance.

Aegean Lecture

Th. Giannopoulos, The traditional paradigm of the Indo-European problem and the «Coming of the Greeks»

The Swedish Institute at Athens and Aegeus – Society for Aegean Prehistory invite you to the lecture:

The traditional paradigm of the Indo-European problem and the “Coming of the Greeks” (in Greek)

by Theodoros G. Giannopoulos (Open University of Cyprus)

Friday 17 April 2015, 19:00.

Makrakomi Ar­chae­o­log­i­cal Land­scapes Pro­ject (MALP)

Published: 2015-04-01

From 2010 onwards the Swedish Institute and the Archaeological Ephorate in Lamia have jointly been carrying out archaeological investigations in the western Spercheios Valley, in the modern municipality of Makrakomi, as part of the Makrakomi Archaeological Landscapes Project (MALP) under the general direction of the director of the Ephorate, Maria-Photeini Papakonstantinou…

Annual Open Meeting 2015

Thursday, 26 March 2015, at 6.00 p.m.

Lecture Hall, Acropolis Museum, Dionysiou Areopagitou 15

The work of the Swedish Institute at Athens in 2014
Arto Penttinen, Director

Meandering liquids – libation rituals in Minoan open-air contexts
Monica Nilsson, Assistant Director

We use cookies to enhance your online experience.
By browsing our site, you agree to our use of cookies.

Read More