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ARCHAEOLOGICAL MEETING OF THESSALY AND CENTRAL GREECE, 2006-2008
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Paper abstract

GRANINGER Denver
ASCSA, Rhys Carpenter Faculty Fellow in Classical Studies, American School of Classical Studies at Athens
Two narratives of Ennodia cult

A scholarly consensus has emerged that Ennodia cult began first in the city of Pherai and then diffused from there over the course of antiquity throughout Thessaly and beyond (e.g., P. Chrysostomou, I Thessaliki Thea I Pheraia Thea, Athens, 1998, p. 100). Yet, while there is a good ancient pedigree for this view (cf. Paus. 2.10.7, 2.23.5) and Ennodiaís cult at Pherai is undoubtedly much earlier than at any of her other known cult sites, there is not enough primary evidence to determine the precise historical circumstances of the transmission of her cult. The present paper sets aside questions of physical reality and approaches the problem of cult origins from the perspective of discourse. It will argue that the earliest evidence of a narrative of Ennodiaís Pheraian origins comes only in the third century BCE (P. Clement, Hesperia 8 (1939), p. 200). Such a narrative likely had its origins in late fifth-early fourth-century Pherai, where the goddess received a pronounced civic orientation as the tyrants struggled for Thessalian hegemony during an extended period of civil war in the region. Pheraian claims on the goddess would have helped to redraw the sacred topography of Thessaly and to establish Pherai in an elect position within it. While this narrative would become dominant in central and southern Greece, it appears to have been rejected or ignored within greater Thessaly, where Ennodiaís Pheraian origins are not meaningfully advertised in the language of cult. For example, the earliest (published) Thessalian inscriptions mentioning Ennodia are from fifth-century Larisa, where the goddess is ancestral (Patroa: A. Tziaphalias, AD 51 B (1996), p. 382, no. 1) and implicated with the urban tissue of the city (Wastika: IG 9 2, 575); later Thessalian inscriptions from outside of Pherai continue to follow this pattern. The tyrants may well have hoped that Ennodia become a ĎPheraianí deity, and indeed to much of central and southern Greece, she was; in broader Thessalian perspective, however, these desires remained unrealized.


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