Herodotos and Greek sanctuaries
This thesis argues that sanctuaries of the gods played a significant role in the political life of the Greek polis in the archaic and classical periods, and that the politics of the period cannot be understood fully without consideration of religion. It uses the text of Herodotos as a source of evidence about the history and perceptions of the period, but also makes use of other literary and archaeological evidence, so that the resulting models may be considered generally useful for the study of the period. Ch. 1 lays out the background to the subject; ch. 2 is an analysis of the activities related to sanctuaries described by Herodotos; ch. 3 examines sanctuaries as the meeting places of federations of Greek states, as well as investigating the nature of sanctuaries as areas of bounded space, showing that political meetings were frequently, if not always, held in sanctuaries, and that this was perceived as allowing some divine influence on decisions; ch. 4 investigates the dedications made at sanctuaries by foreigners, as part of a diplomatic process, showing that they provided a means of access to the polis as well as the god; ch. 5 compares the dedication of booty at sanctuaries with the construction of the battlefield trophy; ch. 6 argues that Herodotos portrays divine intervention as always happening through sanctuaries; ch. 7 argues that Herodotos' frequent mentions of Delphi are a sign of its importance in Greek history, not his own interest; ch. 8 draws some of these ideas together and suggests some general explanations for the importance of sanctuaries, as providing symbolic control of access to the polis, and bestowing authority on decisions taken by assemblies. Finally it suggests that Herodotos's inclusion of religious matters in his histories increases his importance as a source and an historian.