In April, Oxford University Press will release “Hellenistic Sanctuaries: Between Greece and Rome,” edited by Milena Melfi (Oxford University) and Olympia Bobou (Ashmolean Museum). The publisher’s description follows:
Sanctuaries were at the heart of Greek religious, social, political, and cultural life; however, we have a limited understanding of how sanctuary spaces, politics, and rituals intersected in the Greek cities of the Hellenistic and Republican periods. This edited collection focuses on the archaeological material of this era and how it can elucidate the complex relationship between the various forces operating on, and changing the physical space of, sanctuaries. Material such as archaeological remains, sculptures, and inscriptions provides us with concrete evidence of how sanctuaries functioned as locations of memory in a social environment dominated by the written word, and gives us insight into political choices and decisions. It also reveals changes unrecorded in surviving local or political histories. Each case study explored by this volume’s contributors employs archaeology as the primary means of investigation: from art-historical approaches, to surveys and fieldwork, to re-evaluation of archival material. Hellenistic Sanctuaries represents a significant contribution to the existing bibliography on ancient Greek religion, history, and archaeology, and provides new ways of thinking about politics, rituals, and sanctuary spaces in Greece.