The Panathenaia: Spectacle, Competition, and Politics at an Ancient Greek Festival with Dr. Helena Meskanen

The Panathenaia: Spectacle, Competition, and Politics at an Ancient Greek Festival with Dr. Helena Meskanen


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The Panathenaia was an ancient Athenian festival, a spectacle of religious practices, athletic games, and political propaganda alike. This conversation dives deep into this fascinating event on the Athenian religious calendar.

The festival was celebrated yearly each August in honor of the city’s tutelary goddess Athena. A major spectacle and celebration, it was one of the key festivals of the crowded festival calendar of the ancient Greek city-state. The whole city would gather in honor of the Greek goddess to offer sacrifices, prayers, and gifts to the goddess, as well as to watch athletic and musical contests. No spectacle of this size could avoid the attention of the Athenian statesmen, tyrants, and allies, and so we find numerous examples of when it was used for political gain. We will examine this fascinating festival from the religious and political points of view, placing it within the archaeological reality of the ancient city.

Led by an expert on Greek religion and archaeology, Dr. Helena Meskanen, this interactive seminar will examine this highlight of the Athenian year. Designed to inform curiosity as well as future travels, participants will come away with an increased understanding of Greek religion and how it was intertwined with politics and pageantry.

Please note: this conversation will not be recorded. Access to a recording is not possible.

Dr. Helena Meskanen is an archaeologist specializing in ancient Greece, with research focusing on ancient Spartan religion. She has been leading tours of the British Museum for 3 years and feels passionate about the wide range of objects on display, and the stories they tell about the museum and the cultures that created them.

This conversation is suitable for all ages

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
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L.H.
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D.P.
Excellent overview of Panathenaia
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P.A.
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Customer Reviews

Based on 4 reviews
75%
(3)
25%
(1)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
0%
(0)
L
L.H.
Review
D
D.P.
Excellent overview of Panathenaia
P
P.A.
A
A.