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Cultic honours and divinisation in the Hellenistic Eastern Mediterranean

New voices for interdisciplinary collaboration

Introducing Inter-Cult

Inter-Cult is a research project born from the joint effort between the Universities of Lausanne and Padova to boost international and interdisciplinary collaboration between their researchers and research networks.
Within this stimulating framework, S. Caneva and G. Lenzo have conceived a 1-year programme to promote interdisciplinary and inter-generational exchanges between scholars specialising in the cultural – political and religious – history of the Hellenistic period.

The focus of Inter-Cult is on two crucial aspects leading to the encounter and cross-fertilisation of traditions in the ancient Mediterranean world: cultural contacts and transfers, and the convergence between human prestige and the divine sphere.
The Hellenistic period was characterized by a growing degree of cultural cohabitation and by the transversal consolidation of political and religious ideas and practices acknowledging the possibility that humans can be honoured as divine beings, or even be considered as fully divine. With our project we aim to promote this interdisciplinary collaboration by bringing established and young researchers together and encourage them to merge their expertise through an open and lively debate. The geographical scope encompasses the Hellenistic Mediterranean in its broadest terms as we are convinced that this approach will help us achieve a better understanding of similarities, differences, and possible influences between traditions.

The programme involves two phases. The conference held in Lausanne on 21 October will work as a kick-off event setting the premises for a longer collaboration. The second part of the project will take place during spring 2023 and will consist of a series of online seminars meant to reach out to a larger audience and to involve new participants in the project.

Particular attention is paid to new voices in the relevant fields, thus PhD students and young researchers wishing to propose a topic for the upcoming online seminars are warmly invited to contact the organisers. The papers presented in Lausanne and the best seminar papers will be published in a volume at the end of the Inter-Cult project.

Project Conference to be held in Lausanne, 21 October 2022

Papers presented during the Lausanne workshop will bring together three research approaches:

1) interactions between political and religious ideas/practices in the (self-)representation and legitimation of personal power;

2) developments in the rituals and representations concerning the relationship between humans and the divine sphere, in particular with regard to the possibility that human beings are honoured as, and/or believed to become gods/heroes (during their life or posthumously);

3) cultural contacts and transfers in the Hellenistic Eastern Mediterranean area: the Greek world, Egypt, and the Near East.

Programme of the conference in Lausanne, Anthropole 2024 - Friday 21 October 2022

N.B.: It is possible to attend the conference online via Zoom. To inscribe, please write a mail to  honneurscultuels@gmail.com

9h00-9h15    Welcome and introduction by S. Caneva (UNIPD) and G. Lenzo (UNIL)

Topic 1. Divinisation and cultural contacts in Ptolemaic Egypt

9h15-10h00    Stefano Caneva (UNIPD) – Giuseppina Lenzo (UNIL)
Devenir dieu dans l’Égypte ptolémaïque : une analyse conjointe du vocabulaire grec et égyptien dans les titres des souverains lagides

10h00-10h45    René Preys (Professeur en égyptologie, Université de Namur)
La décoration des temples égyptiens comme instrument de légitimation : le cas de Ptolémée XII

10h45-11h15    Break

11h15-12h00    Mounir Habachy (Chercher postdoc en égyptologie, Université de Namur)
Les derniers Lagides en quête de légitimation : Sôter ou/et Philométor ?

12h00-13h30    Lunch

Topic 2. Near East

13h30-14h15    Hervé Gonzalez (ingénieur-chercheur, Collège de France, Paris)
Un culte royal en Judée lagide ? Le temple de Jérusalem et les Ptolémées à la lumière des sources numismatiques

14h15-15h00    Lorenzo Paoletti (Universität zu Köln, Università di Bologna) ἥρωες and frauuaṣ̌i. Some remarks on divinization of men between Greece and Persia

15h00-15h30    Break

Topic 3. Between human and divine in the Greek world

15h30-16h15    Luca Lorenzon (Doctorant, Padova – Liège)
Honorer ses défunts comme des dieux : la déification comme consolation aux époques hellénistique et impériale

16h15-17h00    Julien Dechevez (Doctorant, Liège)
Combien pour le roi ? Acteurs et modalités de mises en vente des prêtrises royales

17h00-17h30    Conclusion

Organizers: Stefano Caneva (stefano.caneva@unipd.it) and Giuseppina Lenzo (giuseppina.lenzo@unil.ch)

The event has been co-funded by Université de Lausanne and Università di Padova

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Travocial - Social Travel & Storytelling Practicalities of Hellenistic Ruler Cults
Marie Curie PISCOPIA project no. PISC14IGRU, University of Padova (2015-2017)
FNRS project no. 98368 (2017-2020)
Stefano Caneva
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The research leading to these results has received funding from the European Commission, Seventh Framework Programme, under Grant Agreement n° 600376 (2015-2017), and from the Fonds National de la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS), Belgium (2017-2020).
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