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CLASSICS 3Q03 GreekSanctuaries

Academic Year: Winter 2017

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Spencer Pope


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 704

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 23378

Office Hours: Wednesday 10:30-11:30

Course Objectives:

This course examines the development and function of Greek sanctuaries with special attention to archaeological evidence and the role of sanctuaries in Greek culture. We will consider several major sanctuaries and their rites in detail (Delphi, Olympia, Samos, Athenian Acropolis) as well as smaller sites in the Greek world. Material considered will include architecture, votive offerings, inscriptions, sacred laws and literary texts relevant to Greek religious practices. We will also explore the relationship between the physical form of the sanctuary and its use in religious rites. The goals of the course are to provide in-depth familiarity with the major sanctuaries of the Greek world and an understanding of the greater cultural and religious contexts of the sites.

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

  • John Pedley, Sanctuaries and the Sacred in the Ancient Greek World, Cambridge University Press, 2005
  • CCW packet available from the University Campus Store
  • Mandatory assigned reading is also found on Avenue to Learn



Method of Assessment:

Mid-term Exam I                                  18%                 31 January 2017

Mid-term Exam II                                22%                 9 March 2017

Research Paper                         30%                 Due in class 24 March 2017

Final Exam                                          30%                 as scheduled by the university


Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Exams and assignments will receive a letter grade based on the grading system outlined on page 25 of the Undergraduate Calendar. Grading criteria for the assignments will include factual accuracy, clarity of organization, logic of arguments, appropriate use of examples, extent of research, and style of presentation (including grammar, punctuation and spelling). Late papers will be penalized â…“ of the letter grade per calendar day late (e.g. a B+ paper, one day late becomes a B). No make-up exams will be given unless the absence was necessitated by a documented emergency; emergencies and/or absences must be processed through the student’s faculty office.


Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Topics and Readings:

Reading Schedule:

(N.B. Reading assignments should be completed before the scheduled class meeting)

Week 1 (4-6 January): Introduction, Form and Practice in Greek Religion        

4 Jan: Introduction and Syllabus; Reading: Pedley: browse through the entire book; familiarize yourself with the maps pp. 2-5 and the glossary pp. 241-246

 Jan: Setting the stage, growth of sanctuaries; Reading: Pedley, pp. 1-38


Week 2 (10-13 January): Form and Practice in Greek Religion

10 Jan:  Gods, Greeks and Worship; Reading: Price, “Gods, Myths and Festivals” (CCW)

11 Jan: Divine Interaction; Reading:  Bremmer, “Greek Normative Animal Sacrifice” (CCW); Harrison, “Greek Religion and Literature” (AVENUE)

13 Jan: Making it sacred: Localization of Greek Worship; Reading: Whitley, “Gods,

            Heroes and Sacred Places” (CCW)

Week 3 (17-20 January): Early Cults

17 Jan: Origins of Greek Sanctuaries; Reading: Pedley, pp. 78-118; F. De Polignac,

            “Cults, Territory and the Origins of the Greek City-State” (CCW).

            19 Jan: Pan-Hellenism; Reading: Morgan, “The Origins of pan-Hellenism” (CCW)

            20 Jan: Formation; Reading: Gould, “On Making Sense of Greek Religion” (CCW)

Week 4 (24-27 January): Samos and Delos

24 Jan: Sanctuary of Apollo on Delos; Reading: Pedley, pp. 154-166

25 Jan:  Hera on Samos; Reading: Kyrielis, “The Heraion at Samos” (Avenue)

27 Jan: Samian Heraion

Week 5 (31 January - 3 February): Olympia


1 Feb: Sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia; Reading: Pedley, pp. 119-134

3 Feb: Sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia; Reading: Scott, “Olympia 650-479 BC” (CCW)

Week 6 (7-10 February): Olympia and Delphi

7 Feb: Sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia: T. of Zeus; Reading: J. Barringer, “The Temple of

            Zeus at Olympia, Heroic Models, and the Panhellenic Sanctuary” (Avenue)

8 Feb: Sanctuary of Zeus at Olympia; Reading: Scott, “Olympia 479-300 BC” (Avenue)

10 Feb:  Sanctuary of Apollo at Delphi; Reading: Pedley, pp. 135-153

Week 7 (14-17 February): Delphi 

14 Feb: Apollo at Delphi; Reading: Scott, “Delphi 650-500 BC” (Avenue)

15 Feb: Apollo at Delphi; Reading: R. Neer, “Framing the Gift: The Politics of the

            Siphnian Treasury at Delphi,” (Avenue)

17 Feb: Apollo at Delphi: Reading: R. Neer, “Delphi, Olympia and the Art of Politics”


20-24 February: NO CLASS, Winter Recess

Week 8 (28 February- 3 March): Athens and the Panathenaia

28 Feb: Athens and Athena; Reading: Pedley, pp. 186-204; S. Deacy, “`Famous Athens,

                        Divine Polis’: The Religious System at Athens” (CCW)

1 Mar: Athens and the Acropolis; Reading: Robertson, “Athena’s Shrines and Festivals”


3 Mar: The Acropolis; Reading: Hurwit, “The Acropolis in Athenian Life and

            Literature” (CCW                                 

Week 9 (7-10 March): Demeter and Kore at Eleusis and Dionysos in Athens


8 Mar: Demeter and Kore; Reading: K. Clinton, “Mysteries of Demeter and Kore”


10 Mar: Demeter and Kore; Reading: Cole, “Demeter in the Ancient Greek City and its

            Countryside” (CCW)             

Week 10 (14-17 March): Brauron and Epidauros

14 Mar: Worshipping Women; Reading: M. Tiverios, “Women of Athens in the

            Worship of Demeter: Iconographic Evidence from Archaic and Classical Times”

            (Avenue) OPTIONAL: M. Dillon, “Women-Only Festivals” (Avenue)

15 Mar: Brauron; Reading: Mee & Spawforth, “Brauron” (CCW)

17 Mar: The Sanctuary of Asklepios at Epidauros Reading: Charitonidou, “Epidauros:

            The Sanctuary of Asklepius” (CCW); Mee & Spawforth, “Epidauros” (CCW)

            OPTIONAL: B. Dignas, “A Day in the Life of a Greek Sanctuary” (Avenue)                   

Week 11 (21-24 March): Re-inventing Religion: Cult and Sanctuary in Western Greece

21 Mar: Sanctuaries in Western Greece; Reading: Pedley, pp. 167-185

22 Mar: Sanctuaries of WG; Reading:  E. Greco, “Sanctuaries of Magna Grecia and

            Sicily” (Avenue)

24 Mar: Sanctuaries of Western Greece PAPER DUE!

Week 12 (28-31 March): A Colonial Middle Ground: Indigenous Sanctuaries and Religion of Sicily      

28 Mar: Greek Rites in the Colonial World; Reading: G. Maddoli, “Cults and Religious Doctrines of the Western Greeks” (Avenue)

29 & 31 April: The Sanctuary of the Divine Palikoi; Reading: Maniscalco and McConnell, “The Sanctuary of the Divine Palikoi (Rocchicella di Mineo, Sicily): Fieldwork from 1995 to 2001” (Avenue)

Week 13 (4-5 April): Conclusions, Cult Continuity        

4 Apr: Final considerations; Reading: Pedley, pp. 205-224

5 Apr: Review and preparation for the final exam.