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Lucanian sanctuaries. History and evolution from the fourth century B.C. to the Augustan age Open Access


Other title
Lucania, sanctuary, votive offerings, ritual, Romanization
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Battiloro, Ilaria
Supervisor and department
Fracchia, Helena (History and Classics)
Examining committee member and department
John Harris (History and Classics)
Ehud Ben Zvi (History and Classics, Religious Studies Program)
Jeremy Rossiter (History and Classics)
Lisa A. Hughes (Greek and Roman Studies, University of Calgary)
Edward Bispham (Brasenose College, Oxford)
Department of History and Classics

Date accepted
Graduation date
Doctor of Philosophy
Degree level
This work seeks to provide new insight into understanding how the Lucanian sanctuaries were conceived, built, and used during a chronological period which ranges from the fourth century B.C. to the first century A.D. Within this time, the end of the third century B.C. and the bloody events of the Hannibalic war represented a crucial turning point for the Lucanian communities, concomitant with more infiltration of the southern peninsula by Rome. The last two centuries B.C. are therefore generally neglected in literature as a period of decline. The basic line of thought of this research is that changes in function and form of sanctuaries reflect political, socio-economic and cultural transformations and development of those communities who built and frequented them. The function of the sanctuaries went well beyond the merely religious, for they also functioned as gathering, political and economic centers. The evidence used in this thesis was mainly archaeological, and therefore the analysis of the realia represents the starting point and grounds for historical reconstructions. Archaeological data are diachronically analyzed at different levels: topographic location and relationship of sanctuaries with inhabited settlements, architectural structure and spatial organization of the complexes, and systems of votive offerings. During the fourth and the third centuries B.C. the picture of the Lucanian sanctuaries appears at a first glance quite homogeneous, as the cultural expressions of the Lucanian communities derived from the same models. However, archaeological evidence does not support the theory regarding the existence of a collective sanctuary which belonged to the Lucanians as a whole ethnos, as has been hypothesised for the Rossano di Vaglio sanctuary. After the end of the third century B.C. archaeological evidence from the sites under scrutiny attests that the sanctuaries continued to be used, despite the abandonment of the surrounding inhabited settlements. Nevertheless, such continuity did not mean full frequentation of the sanctuaries, as the majority of them noticeably contracted. Thus the second century B.C. is greatly under-represented at the archaeological level, although in some cases a revival is attested during the first century B.C. In this scenario, the only sanctuary which experienced a phase of revitalization during both of the last two centuries B.C. was the Rossano di Vaglio complex, as it became the point of reference for a new, specifically Roman, territorial entity, the praefectura of Potentia. This analysis, therefore, is a further contribution to current studies concerning the transformations which occurred in Italy in conjunction with the rise of Roman power, the conquest of Italy, and the consequent diffusion of hegemonic culture.
Permission is hereby granted to the University of Alberta Libraries to reproduce single copies of this thesis and to lend or sell such copies for private, scholarly or scientific research purposes only. Where the thesis is converted to, or otherwise made available in digital form, the University of Alberta will advise potential users of the thesis of these terms. The author reserves all other publication and other rights in association with the copyright in the thesis and, except as herein before provided, neither the thesis nor any substantial portion thereof may be printed or otherwise reproduced in any material form whatsoever without the author's prior written permission.
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