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Dr Jody Cundy visited the The Baron Thyssen Centre for the Study of Ancient Material Religion on 21st March 2019, to give a paper entitled “Paradoxographic mentalité and the sacred: thinking through (im)material collections in Pausanias' Periegesis Hellados”. After the seminar, Jessica Hughes and Jody Cundy were joined by Jan Haywood and Angeliki Lymberopoulou to record an audio discussion about ‘virtual collections’ of votives and relics in ancient Greek and later texts. The discussion also featured the voice of Dr Naomi Howell, talking about a different kind of ‘virtual votive’ collection - that is, the 3D digital scans and models of some surviving medieval wax votives in the collections of Exeter Cathedral.

You can listen to this recording via the Soundcloud link above.

Programme Structure and timecodes

0.00 Introduction; 1.00 Jody Cundy on Pausanias’ descriptions of votive dedications and relics in the temples of Peitho in Sicyon and Athena Elea at Tegea; 3.30 Jan Haywood on Herodotus and the dedications sent by King Croesus to Apollo at Delphi; 6.58 Angeliki Lymberopoulou on the Gunther of Pairis’ inventory of sacred relics in the Abbey of Pairis, brought from the Church of Christ Pantokrator in Constantinople; 12.50 Naomi Howell on the digitalisation of medieval wax votives from Exeter Cathedral; 19.40 Studio responses to Naomi Howell; 25.38 Jody Cundy on the Chest of Cypselus; 26.41 Angeliki Lymberopoulou on the relic of the table of the Last Supper; 28.00 Jan Haywood on a lustral vase from Delphi.

Further reading and other resources

Alcock, S. E., Cherry, J. F., & Elsner, J. (2001) Pausanias: Travel and memory in Roman Greece. New York: Oxford University Press.

Andrea, A. J., ed. and trans. (1997) The Capture of Constantinople. ‘The Hystoria Constantinopolitana’ of Gunther of Pairis. Philadelphia.

Cutler, A. (1995) ‘From Loot to Scholarship: Changing Modes in the Italian Response to Byzantine Artifacts c. 120-1750’ Dumbarton Oaks Papers 49: 237-267.

Dewald, C. (1993) ‘Reading the World: The Interpretation of Objects in Herodotus’ Histories’, in R. M. Rosen and J. S. Farrell (eds.) Nomodeiktes: Studies in Honour of Martin Ostwald. Ann Arbor, pp. 55–70.

Hetherington, P. (1983) ‘A Purchase of Byzantine Relics and reliquaries in Fourteenth-Century Venice’, Arte Veneta 37, pp. 9-30 (reprinted in P. Hetherington, Enamels, Crowns, relics and Icons. Studies on Luxury Arts in Byzantium [Ashgate, Variorum; Farnham 2008], essay VII).

Hutton, W. (2005) Describing Greece: Landscape and literature in the Periegesis of Pausanias. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Kindt, J. (2016) Revisiting Delphi: Religion and Storytelling in Ancient Greece. Cambridge and New York: CUP. Chapter 2.

Kosmetatou, E. (2013) ‘Herodotus and Temple Inventories’, in P. Liddel and P. Low (eds.) Inscriptions and their Uses in Greek and Latin Literature. Oxford, pp. 65-77.

Maguire, H. (2010) ‘The Aniketos Icon and the Display of Relics in the decoration of San Marco’ in H. Maguire and R. S. Neslon, eds, San Marco, Byzantium and the Myths of Venice (Washington, D.C.), pp. 91-111.

Pirenne-Delforge, V. (2008) Retour à la source: Pausanias et la religion grecque. Liège: Centre international d'étude de la religion grecque antique.

Pretzler, M. (2007) Pausanias: Travel writing in ancient Greece. London: Duckworth.

"Odysseus" (Greek Ministry of Culture site) on the temple of Athena Alea at Tegea (with images/scans of temple remains)

Pausanias' description of the Chest of Cypselus from the Loeb edition 1918 (5.17.5-5.19.10)

Digital Humanities project 'The Digital Periegesis’ 

Sketchfab of the digital model of the Exeter wax figurine discussed by Naomi Howell.

More information about the Exeter digital humanities project.

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