Joan Breton Connolly: "Sacred Space and the Parthenon: Foundation Myth, Genealogical Narrative, and Ritual Practice"

March 16, 2014
Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 4:30pm
Thompson Library Room 165


The Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization in Religions of the Ancient Mediterranean Religions is pleased to announce a talk byJoan Breton Connolly, New York University, entitled 'Sacred Space and the Parthenon: Foundation Myth, Genealogical Narrative, and Ritual Practice,' at 4:30 on Thursday April 3 in Thompson Library Room 165.

The Parthenon’s sculptural program is steeped in genealogical myth beckoning ever backward across imagined aeons. Cosmic and epic narratives and the great boundary catastrophes that separated the ages established temporal and topographic frameworks through which the Athenians understood where they came from. Taking a long view from the archaic Acropolis through the fifth century, Connelly focuses on the power of architectural sculpture to communicate a shared understanding of Athenian origins, identity, and cult practice.  Central to this is the relation of mythical tombs to historic temples, and the sacred space that built bridges between the ancestors and the present.

Prof. Connelly is the author of an award-winning book on Greek priestesses and recipient of of numerous grants, including a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, for her controversial and stimulating work on the Parthenon frieze. Her much anticipated and already widely reviewed book, The Parthenon Enigma, appeared in January of this year.

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