Cultic honours and divinisation in the Hellenistic Eastern Mediterranean

New voices for interdisciplinary collaboration

Rationale of the Project

This project concerns the organisation of a one-day conference in Lausanne in autumn 2022, followed by an online seminar (until autumn 2023) and the publication of a co-edited volume.
The topics tackled by the project are under the spotlight of current scholarship about the history of the Ancient Mediterranean world; moreover, they have a remarkable importance in the debate about contemporary societies as well. The interaction between politics and religion will be tackled with the dual focus of exploring regional characteristics on the one hand and, on the other hand,
their contacts and mutual influences. This interdisciplinary approach shall encourage established and young scholars to experiment with new forms of collaborative work as the studied trends can only be fully understood beyond a still common scientific separation between different ‘civilisations’. The Hellenistic period particularly fits this scenario as it is characterized by a growing degree of multi-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 junior researchers together and encourage them to merge
their expertise through an open and lively debate.

Project Conference to be held in Lausanne, 21 October 2022

The papers presented in Lausanne will bring together three research approaches of high relevance for the study of cultures and societies in the Ancient Mediterranean world:
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 – Lausanne, vendredi 21 Octobre 2022

9h00-9h15    Accueil et introduction par S. Caneva (UNIPD) et G. Lenzo (UNIL)

Thème 1. Divinisation et contacts culturels dans l’Égypte ptolémaïque

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

Thème 2. Le Proche Orient

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 lumières 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

Thème 3. Entre humain et divin dans le monde grec

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 (postgraduate, Liège)
Combien pour le roi ? Acteurs et modalités de mises en vente des prêtrises royales

17h00-17h30    Conclusion

Contacts: Stefano Caneva ( and Giuseppina Lenzo (

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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