Plutarch 2017

University of CreteFaculty of Letters Dean

University of CreteDepartment of Philology

Ritual and Politics, Individual and Community
in Plutarch’s Works
An international Colloquium

27 - 30 April, 2017

Student Cultural Center "Xenia"
Sofokli Venizelou 16, 74100, Rethymnon

Organized by Lucia Athanassaki and Frances B. Titchener


Funded by the Research Committee/ΕΛΠΚ, the Department of Philology, Dean’s Office - School of Philosophy of the University of Crete, and the International Plutarch Society


Lucia Athanassaki
Frances Titchener

Plutarch’s Lives and essays (many with a specifically religious focus) are a mine of descriptions of ritual acts, such as sacrifices, processions, theoriae, dedications, ceremonial feasting, public orations, song and/or dance in religious or secular contexts, whether performed by individuals or groups. How do these representations contribute to the characterization of individuals and/or communities? What do they tell us about the way individuals relate to their peers or to their community at large? And/or the ways cities or other forms of community relate to one another? How do rituals interact with politics (personal and communal, local or inter-state)? How do they affect individual and communal identities? These are some of the questions this colloquium will address focusing on Plutarch’s works.

Thursday 27 April
Moderator: Lucia Athanassaki
17.30Opening comments: Vice-Rector Konstantinos Spanoudakis
17.40-18.30Michele Lucchesi, ‘Heroization in Plutarch's Parallel Lives’
Moderator: Tasos Nikolaidis
18.30-19.20Michael Paschalis, ‘Plutarch’s manipulation of the proskynesis affair (Life of Alexander, ch. 54)’
19.40-20.30Giustina Monti, ‘Alexander's ritual performances and publicity stunt: the construction of a political identity within the Greek and eastern communities’
20.45Dinner (Rethymnon, seafront)
Friday 28 April
Moderator: Kostas Apostolakis
10.00-10.50Maria Fragoulaki, 'Comparing portraits: Nicias' wealth in Plutarch and Thucydides'
10.50-11.40Lucia Athanassaki, ‘Manipulations of Rituals: Intended and Unintended Consequences Consequences in the Lives of Cimon and Nicias
11.40-12.00Coffee, Refreshments
Moderator: Dimos Spatharas
12.00-12.50Chris Pelling, ‘Ritual-gone-wrong in Demetrius and Antony; or, “you're not a deity, you're just a very naughty boy”’
12.50-13.40Ewen Bowie, ‘Greek élites and the Caesars: cult and cultivation from a Plutarchan perspective’
13.40Lunch break
Moderator: Athena Kavoulaki
16.30-17.20Joseph Geiger, ‘Ritual and Monotheism: Plutarch on the Jews’
17.20-18.10Katerina Oikonomopoulou, ‘Ritual and communal identity in Plutarch's Greek and Roman Questions’
18.10-18.30Coffee, Refreshments
Moderator: Stelios Panayotakis
18.30-19.20Paolo Desideri, ‘Roman festivals in Plutarch's Life of Romulus’
19.20-20.10Judith Mossman, ‘Plutarch and the Roman Triumph’
20.30Dinner (Rethymnon, Old Town)
Saturday 29 April
Moderator: Zacharoula Petraki
9.30-10.20Aristoula Georgiadou, ‘Rites of passage and the case of Plutarch's Erotikos
10.20-11.10Anna Lefteratou, ‘The Cave digression in Plutarch's Crassus
11.10-11.30Coffee, refreshments
Moderator: Lucia Athanassaki
11.30-12.20Anastasios Nikolaidis, ‘Divination and Oracles: the Ritual of the Struggle between Reason and the Irrational’
12.20-13.10Frances Titchener, ‘Plutarch’s Shadow Women’
13.20Departure for Eleutherna – Lunch at Eleutherna
15.30Visit to the Museum and the Archaeological Site
20.30Dinner (Rethymnon, Old Town)
Sunday 30 April
11.00-13.00Conclusions – Lucia Athanassaki and Frances B. Titchener

Anybody interested in attending should contact:
Michael Kalochristianakis (