At Paphos

The PHRC digital library

Uncovering the ritual and social aspects of cultic honours for human beings

Until now, the study of cultic honours for Hellenistic political leaders and benefactors has mainly focused on the ideological and diplomatic features of the phenomenon. The project "Practicalities of Hellenistic Ruler Cults" (PHRC) shifts the focus on its practical aspects: the materiality of media, ritual action and space, actors, administration, and the funding of cults. In doing so, PHRC aims to set the debate on ritual honours for human beings in the broader context of Greek religious and social history in the post-classical period.


The PHRC digital library

The sources of PHRC comprise Greek epigraphic texts from the Eastern Mediterranean, between the ages of Alexander and Augustus. At this first stage of the project, the discussed documents are related to three main geographical areas: the Aegean islands, Western Asia Minor, and Cyprus.
This website is the dissemination portal of PHRC. It provides access to a growing digital library of Greek inscriptions which have been geo-referenced, xml-encoded and semantically annotated in order to allow researchers and students to browse the material through a wide range of queries in compliance with their interests. Each inscription is showcased with an introduction providing archaeological and philological information, an English commentary, and multilingual translations. When useful, a selective critical apparatus focuses on the debated sections of the text concerning the topic of cultic honours for human beings.
The specific purposes of this project justify the choice of a selective commentary. The PHRC commentaries are not meant to entirely replace other paper or digital commented editions of the relevant inscriptions, but to provide a specific insight in the treatment of cultic honours. In compliance with a logic of linked open data for research, the PHRC website is provided with a series of authority lists by which users not only can browse the content of the PHRC digital library through a varied set of queries, but also have access via external links to the complementary information provided by other relevant Digital Classics portals.

The Current version: PHRC 0.1 (released autumn 2018

PHRC 0.1 is a beta version conceived to test the efficacy of the choices we have made concerning the criteria of semantic annotation, the visualization and searchability of contents. More functions will be implemented in the future versions. Therefore, we encourage users to share their feedbacks, criticisms, and suggestions so that we may correct errors, add more external links and improve the discoverability of content.

The PHRC digital library follows the current "sharing is caring" philosophy of linked open data. Accordingly, new items are published as soon as the editing process is finished, so that they can start circulating among the users’ community and thus promote a dynamic process of discussion, improvement, reuse.

Especially at this early stage, this policy gives PHRC the characteristics of a growing collection of texts rather than of a coherent – and closed – corpus. Similarly, users might notice that the coverage of the PHRC library follows an archipelago effect: specific areas and periods are more represented than others depending on the priorities of the research team rather than on the actual distribution of sources.

While this implies that we discourage users of PHRC to draw quantitative conclusions on the basis of the available texts at this early stage, it is our purpose to fill the inevitable gaps at the fastest rhythm for which our time and energies allow. In the meantime, commentaries already contain a set of references and external links which are meant to provide a broader overview of the discussed topics. 

Updating process

As stated above, new PHRC items are released soon after the end of the editing process. Because previously-released items may need updating due to new relevant publications, we advise you to check the “Revisions” section at the bottom of each item’s page in order to keep track of the current version of each text.

When a significant number of revisions and/or of new website functions are added, a new version of PHRC will be announced and released.

Open Data for Research

In order to ensure the openness and reusability of the research results, all the contents created by the PHRC project and published on this website are released with a CC BY-SA 4.0 International license. When the materials showcased on this website are associated with Intellectual Property Rights pertaining to persons and entities other than the PHRC team, a specific disclaimer will mention the name of the IPR owner(s) as well as the types of rights under which these materials have been released.


The research team

Stefano CanevaP.I – Stefano Caneva, Université de Liège / Università di Padova  – 
After a MA in Classics and a PhD in Ancient History, Stefano Caneva worked at the universities of Leuven (2010-2011), Liège (2011-2014) and Padova (Marie Curie Piscopia fellowship, 2015-2017). His current research project, which explores the interconnections between Greek cults for gods and humans in the Hellenistic period, is based at the ULiège, where he teaches Greek Religion since 2017. His teaching experience also includes a period spent at the Université de Toulouse II as invited professor (autumn 2017; Greek History, Greek Religion) and an ongoing collaboration as professor of Greek Religion at the Université Libre de Bruxelles.

His research fields include various aspects of the cultural, religious and political history of Antiquity, with projects focusing on the study of contacts between the human and the divine spheres and of the interaction between different cultures and traditions in the Hellenistic and Imperial Mediterranean world. Other areas of interest include the Digital Humanities and the contribution of new theoretical paradigms and methods to the study of Antiquity. As a collaborator of various international cultural NGOs, and as a member of the Steering Board of the International Association of Digital Epigraphy (IDEA), he is also specializing in methods and policies to promote Classics and Cultural Heritage in a digital environment.

ULiège, Unité de recherche « Religion grecque antique

Luca Lorenzon Luca Lorenzon, Université de Liège –
Luca Lorenzon is currently preparing his MA thesis in Classics and Near Eastern Studies at the Université de Liège, under the supervision of Dr. Stefano Caneva and Prof. Laurent Colonna d'Istria. The title of his research is “Les honneurs cultuels pour les Séleucides: l’apport des sources grecques et accadiennes”.


Stefano Caneva
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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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