download article as .pdf:  Santuari panellenici: dalla competizione individuale all’autorappresentazione collettiva


The agonistic dimension, representing undoubtedly one of the main characteristic of Pan-Hellenic sanctuaries, has maybe overshadowed, in the scientific literature, the study of the complexity of these multi-layered sacred spaces, that offer a plurality of keys to understand the mentality, the system of beliefs and behaviours as well as the socio-economic needs of Greek communities. In fact, the Olympic, Pythic, Nemean and Isthmic games were only a piece of the wider mosaic of the activities taking place inside the temene. Due to the supra-national status marking the Pan-Hellenic sanctuaries, whose relevance was deeply interconnected with the concepts of competition and victory, they became a perfect scenario for the spread of political messages, for the creation of collective images to be proposed by single cities to the rest of the Hellenic world, for the celebration of triumph in all its aspects, from the war-success to the athletic one, from personal achievement to collective glorification.