Old Smyrna Excavations: The Temples of Athena (Supplementary by J.M. Cook, Richard Nicholls

By J.M. Cook, Richard Nicholls

Excavations on the early Greek urban of previous Smyrna have been conducted together through British and Turkish groups. the wealthy unearths from its successive temples have already been released in Ekrem Akurgal's Alt-Smyrna I. This quantity offers an in depth account of the temples themselves, as cleared by means of the British staff. an important used to be that less than building c 610-600 BC, notwithstanding this used to be by no means accomplished: so much of its superstructure ended up in emergency walling, obviously built throughout the siege and sack of the town via Alyattes of Lydia in c.600 BC. but it was once already a huge Aeolic temple of outstanding caliber, and it really is of the best value for our knowing of the emergence of East Greek structure. The facts for its more and more formidable predecessors and. generally extra modest, successors is usually awarded.

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A fourth view, taking practicality to extremes, has interpreted cult and ritual above all in terms of redistributing surplus produce, providing a locus for meetings on safe neutral ground, and offering a sanctified mode of maximizing personal or communal prestige via display. In sharp contrast, a fifth view takes Greek spirituality seriously and sees its two main manifestations as being, first, the central role which oracles came to play in Greek public and private life in the archaic period, and, second, the evidently strong appeal which mystery cults and ceremonies of initiation had for Greeks of all classes and both genders.

G. W. Schuller 1985: 24–33, Osborne 1996a: 226–32, or Lardinois and McClure 2001: 19–92 for the archaic period, besides the many books of the 1980s and 1990s on women in antiquity in general. 30 See ch. 22 for discussion of aspects of religion. 31 Hasebroek 1928/1933; Boardman 1957; Coldstream 1977: 17–21 for overtly mercantilist language. 32 Finley 1973a (1985), with Osborne 1996b, Tandy 1997, von Reden 2002, and Reed 2003 among many more recent contributions. See ch. 23. 33 Review of evidence and arguments in Kim 2001.

The Story Evolves In consequence, until about the late 1970s each of the three currents of activity described above regarded the others with polite incomprehension, not so much because the primary evidence was diverse as because interpretative skills, intellectual agendas, and cultural assumptions had come to diverge substantially. qxd 25/02/2009 14 02:26PM Page 14 John K. Davies that is still largely true, alas, but the study of “Archaic” Greece is undergoing a revolution. It has become ever clearer that none of these currents can flow much further on its own: they have to be made to converge.

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