The Panhellenic Festival of Artemis Leukophryene in Magnesia-On-The-Meander. A Spatial Analysis of a Hellenistic Procession, Kristoph Hammerschmied (née Jürgens)
New ‘Panhellenic’ festivals – pilgrimage and procession in the Hellenistic period An examination of the significance of pilgrimage and processions in Greek antiquity cannot omit the ‘new Panhellenic’ festivals, which took place in large numbers in the Hellenistic period.1 From the beginning of the third century BC we observe that various local cults were upgraded into Panhellenic festivals in many city-states (poleis [Pl.], polis [Sg.]) throughout the Greek world. Referring to literary and epigraphic sources, K. Rigsby listed Ǣǣ festivals that were enhanced to this new status down to the end of the second century BC.2 In this context we hear of extensive festive embassies (theoriai [Pl.], theoria [Sg.]) sent out from various poleis to announce the new festivals to all corners of the Greek koine (community) addressing other cities, city-leagues, and monarchs.3 As a core element, the new festivals centred on a large sacrifice for the chief deity of the hosting polis to which the festive ambassadors (theoroi [Pl.], theoros [Sg.]) invited their addressees to send delegations to join the rituals. Together the inviting citizens and the foreign delegates were to partake in festal processions (pompai [Pl.], pompe [Sg.]) to honour the gods. To attract further visitors the new games included large-scale festivities, banquets, and customs-free markets.