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City and Sanctuary in Hellenistic Asia Minor Constructing civic identity in the sacred landscapes of Mylasa and Stratonikeia in Karia

City and Sanctuary in Hellenistic Asia Minor Constructing civic identity in the sacred landscapes of Mylasa and Stratonikeia in Karia

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Summary of PhD dissertation, University of Groningen, 2012
Summary of PhD dissertation, University of Groningen, 2012

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Published by: Christina Williamson on Feb 24, 2013
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PhD dissertation
summary 
 City and Sanctuary in Hellenistic Asia Minor
constructing civic identity in the sacred landscapes of Mylasa and Stratonikeia in Karia
Christina G. Williamson
 University of GroningenP.O. Box 7169700 AS GroningenThe NetherlandsTel. +31(0)6 349 251 78email: c.g.williamson@rug.nl 
 Abstract
In this research, Christina Williamson studies the phenomenon of major outlying sanctuaries whichaccompanied the second rise of the Greek polis in Asia Minor in the Hellenistic period. While such
‘extra
-
urban’ sanctuaries in the Archaic world
are typically interpreted as frontier shrines markingcritical borders of civic territory, Williamson argues that the situation in Hellenistic Asia Minor is muchmore complex, as the Greek polis model took hold in landscapes that were already highly sociallyarticulated. Drawing on a wide range of archaeological and historical sources, she examines in detailthe processes of transformation that took place at the shrines of Zeus Labraundos and Sinuri in thelandscape of Mylasa, and Hekate at Lagina and Zeus at Panamara in the outer limits of Stratonikeia inKaria, as they were turned into major civic centers. Using theories taken from the cognitive, social andspatial sciences, Williamson contextualizes these transformations in light of their effect on society andinterprets them with regard to polis formation. In doing so she shows that instead of their proximity toborders, it was their capacity to foster social cohesion, territorial integrity, and civic identity amonghybrid and dispersed communities that made them so vital to rising poleis.
Map showing cities in Asia Minor with major outlying sanctuaries
 
 
Christina Williamson
City and Sanctuary in Hellenistic Asia Minor 
PhD dissertation summary Page
2
of 
10
 
Summary 
 
City and Sanctuary in Hellenistic Asia Minor.Constructing civic identity in sacred landscapes
Sanctuary, landscape, and community are three intertwined strands that were affected by the wave of urbanism that spread across Asia Minor in the wake of Alexander the Great. The primary aim of thisresearch is to discover why so many developing cities in the Hellenistic period centered their attentionon cults with sanctuaries that were located far from the urban center, and how these wereinstrumental in creating a common civic identity. In the Archaic and Classical Greek world, suchshrines
are designated as ‘extra
-
urban’ and are typically interpreted as frontier
sanctuaries, markingcritical borders of civic territory. For communities in older social landscapes that were adapting to theGreek polis model, however, the situation is more complex as numerous sacred centers that initiallyhad a local or regional appeal were drawn into the orbit of a polis and turned into major civic spaces.This research investigates this phenomenon is by intensively analyzing the development of the majoroutlying sanctuaries of two neighboring cities in Karia
Mylasa and Stratonikeia
which were bothknown to have expanded in the Hellenistic period. The sanctuary of Zeus Labraundos, 14 km north of Mylasa and that of the Karian god Sinuri, 15 km to the southeast, had both already been radicallymonumentalized by the Hekatomnids in the fourth century BC, but each took on a new role under thedemocratic city in the third century BC. Further east of Mylasa is Stratonikeia, a Seleukid foundationwhich began to develop in the second century BC, a time in which it embraced and monumentalizedthe cults of Hekate at Lagina, 8 km to the north, and Zeus at Panamara, 10 km to the south. Theprocesses of transformation at each of these four sanctuaries are methodologically examined throughthe application of an analytical framework in which changes in monumental space, ritual performance,legal organization, and civic expression are observed against the wider social-geographicalenvironment and historical background of the area. This interdisciplinary approach relies on a widevariety of sources, from inscriptions, coins, ceramics, and architecture to geographical data andsatellite images, to understand the many ways in which cult and shrine were reshaped to meet theneeds of the rising city, the role of the landscape in this process, and the overall impact on community.Each of these sanctuaries was located at the edges of civic territory, and while borders were certainlyan issue for these expanding poleis, none of these places of cult appear to have acquired a role as afrontier sanctuary. Instead, their tightening relationship with the polis seems to have been determinedby a number of other, mostly internal concerns. Drawing on theory from the cognitive and spatialsciences and network analyses, the principle triggers of change are identified as being the civic needfor
 social cohesion
, fostered among others through major festivals and the design of ritual space,
territorial integrity
, woven together by processional routes, visual sightlines, and collective spatialmemory, and
 political identity
, leveraged through the symbolic capital of cult combined with polisinstitutions, and by engaging in wider festival networks. These outlying sacred centers are seen ashaving a vital role in constructing civic identity by giving the polis a common focus, thereby creating asense of internal unity among hybrid and disparate communities, and an external face that would berecognized by the Greek world at large.By analyzing in detail the processes of transformation which these shrines underwent as they wereturned into major civic centers, this research challenges
existing theories on ‘extra
-
urban’ sanctuaries
while building a solid case for examining the social and political role of such sanctuaries in a new light,in order to better interpret the relationship between landscape, city and sanctuary.
 
Christina Williamson
City and Sanctuary in Hellenistic Asia Minor 
PhD dissertation summary Page
 3
of 
10
 
Table of Contents
PrefaceList of FiguresList of TablesIntroduction
Part 1 Theoretical Background and Research Framework
IntroductionChapter 1.1 Three groundbreaking monographs on sanctuaries in Hellenistic Asia Minor1.1.1 Pierre Debord (1982)
 Aspects sociaux et économiques de la vie religieuse dansl'Anatolie gréco-romaine
 1.1.2 Laura Boffo (1985)
I re ellenistici e i centri religiosi dell'Asia minore
 1.1.3 Beate Dignas (2002)
Economy of the sacred in Hellenistic and Roman Asia Minor 
 SummaryChapter 1.2 Modelling non-urban sanctuaries in the Archaic and Classical Greek world1.2.1 City and countryside as separate categories of space
1.2.2 Frontier sanctuaries and the ‘bi
-
polar city’ (de Polignac)
 1.2.3 Opposition: the Continuum perspectiveSummaryChapter 1.3 Alternative approaches from outside the box1.3.1 Spatial memory and visual regions1.3.2 Rational rituals1.3.3 Network models1.3.4 Regional identitySummaryChapter 1.4 Research strategy
goals and methods1.4.1 Formulating the research question1.4.2 The research framework - indicators of civic integration1.4.3 Case Studies
criteria and selection1.4.4 Data sources and collection
Part 2 Mylasa and the sanctuaries of Zeus Labraundos and Sinuri
IntroductionMylasa
historical backgroundChapter 2.1 Case Study 1
Mylasa and the sanctuary of Zeus Labraundos2.1.1 Introduction to Labraunda2.1.2 Environment of Labraunda2.1.3 Signs of civic integration at Labraunda2.1.4 Interpreting the relationship between Mylasa and LabraundaAppendix 2.1
 
I.Labraunda
5Chapter 2.2 Case Study 2
Mylasa and the sanctuary of Sinuri2.2.1 Introduction to the sanctuary of Sinuri2.2.2 Environment of the sanctuary of Sinuri2.2.3 Signs of civic integration at the sanctuary of Sinuri2.2.4 Interpreting the relationship between Mylasa via the syngeneia and the sanctuary of SinuriConclusion. City and sanctuary: Mylasa and the sanctuaries of Zeus Labraundos and Sinuri

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