Arrian’s priesthood of Demeter and Corè has received little focused attention in modern scholarship, although the priest of Demeter and Corè in Nicomedia, Bithynia, was an illustrious magistrate. In this workshop, I shall examine more thoroughly the relationship between Arrian’s priesthood, his home city and the cult of the two goddesses, in order to reassess Arrian’s religious expertise in the wider framework of the imperial period, a period in which such offices were foundational to the cultural identity of Roman provincial elites. It seems that this priesthood, held also by Arrian the historian, philosopher, and high officer of both the Roman army and the Roman administration, had an important political and religious meaning within the Hadrianic cultural policy; it should be understood as part of an Eleusinian network and as a means for Arrian to underline both the Greekness of his natal city and his own allegiance to the emperor. The workshop will focus on textual, epigraphical, archaeological and numismatic evidence dating from the Classical to the Roman period.
Elias Koulakiotis is Assistant Professor in Ancient Greek History at the University of Ioannina. He studied Classical Philology in Ioannina and Anthropology of Ancient Greece at the EHESS, Paris. He received his PhD from the Freie Universität, Berlin, in 2001 and has spent time as a research fellow in Columbus, Ohio and at Birkbeck College, London. He is interested in political and cultural aspects of the Ancient Greek and Roman World. He is author of numerous articles and chapters on Alexander the Great’s history and afterlife, on ancient religion and on cultural memory. His publications include: Genese und Metamorphosen des Alexandermythos (2006), Marathon. The Day After (2013, ed. with K. Buraselis), Alexander the Great. His Expedition and Empire, illustrated in 100 rare historical maps, the cartographical collection of P. Soucacos, (2017, ed.), and Political Religions: Discourses, Practices and Images in the Greco-Roman World (2019, ed. with Ch. Dunn).
Respondent: Caroline Cheung, Department of Classics