Eleusis as Palimpsest: Postcolonial Theory and the Politics of Religion in Roman Greece 公开

Bullock, Anne N. (2010)

Permanent URL: https://etd.library.emory.edu/concern/etds/rf55z815z?locale=zh
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Abstract

Abstract

Eleusis as Palimpsest: Postcolonial Theory and the Politics of Religion in Roman Greece

By Annie Vocature Bullock

The dissertation makes use of postcolonial theory to address the interplay between religion and politics in the context of Roman Greece. The project describes and analyzes Eleusis and the Eleusinian mysteries as a case study. Roman investment in the sanctuary at Eleusis and in the Eleusinian mysteries was in many ways emblematic of the relationship between Greece and Rome. Although Roman benefactors refurbished the sanctuary and encouraged interest in the cult, their patronage also altered the character of the cult. The result was an Eleusis that was at once both Greek and Roman. In postcolonial terms, the relationship between Greece and Rome that is apparent at Eleusis was ambivalent and the resulting culture was hybridized. Postcolonial concepts of ambivalence and hybridity are apparent at Eleusis. Moreover, the ambivalence of Roman imperialism was expressed both textually and architecturally. The hybridity of the emerging culture of Roman Greece can be inferred from textual sources but because the mysteries were a secret, hybridity is better reflected by the architecture of the site. Thus the discourses of Roman imperialism were encoded and expressed in interrelated and overlapping ways at all levels of Roman Greek culture.

The significance of the argument is related to the question of how religion and ideology are related to one another as cultural systems. The same ideas that are expressed in textual sources are found in architecture. The same ideas that belong to Roman imperialism are part of the religious landscape. I interpret this parallel as an illustration of religion's potential to incorporate and interpret political realities and to infuse them with a sense of ultimate significance. At Eleusis, the Roman political system became part of a religious culture that made the things of everyday life meaningful. This gave it a wider reach than it would have enjoyed as ideology.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Introduction--A Postcolonial Approach to an Ancient Sanctuary........................1

Ancient and Modern: Postcolonial Studies and Eleusis…................…………………......... .3

Religion and Postcolonial Theory………...……………………………………...............................11

Gayatri Spivak and K. N. Panikkar: Religion as Ideology…………….......................13

Edward Said and Sharada Sugirtharajah: Religion as Discourse………..................17

Homi K. Bhabha: Religion as Culture…………………………………...............................22

Eleusis and the Eleusinian Mysteries as a Case Study of Roman Greece.……...............29

Overview of Chapters…………..……………………………………...………..................................35

Chapter One--Ambivalence and Cicero's Philhellenism…...…………………...........…….41

Ambivalence…………………………………………………………………….........................................42

Homi Bhabha: Ambivalence and Colonial Discourse….………………........................43

David Spurr: Representation and Ambivalence………………………..........................45

Cicero and Representation……………………………….………………………................................52

Cicero's First Letter to Quintus………………………………………................................52

Cicero's Representation of the Greeks………………………………..............................59

Ambivalence and Philhellenism………………………………………………….................................66

Chapter Two--Hybridity: Eleusis and the Eleusinian Mysteries as Third Space….68

Homi Bhabha: Hybridity and Third Space………………………........…………........................70

Eleusis and the Eleusinian Mysteries as Third Space………………………..........................74

Cicero and Pausanias on the Mysteries………………………………............................80

Cicero……………………………………………………………........................................80

Pausanias……………………………………………………..........................................89

Eleusis as Third Space…………………………………………………....................................97

Eleusis and Hybridity………………………………………………………….......................................104

Chapter Three--Eleusis as Palimpsest………………...........................………………………107

Palimpsests……………………………………………………………………...........................................108

Palimpsest and the Landscapes of Eleusis…………………………..........................…..108

Palimpsest and Physical Landscape…………………………...............................117

Palimpsest and Intellectual Landscape………………………..............................126

The Excavation of the Telesterion……………………..............................128

The Excavation of the North Gate…………………...............................…142

Palimpsest as Process and Power at Eleusis………………………………..................................147

Chapter Four--Ambivalence and Hybridity in the Sanctuary of Demeter and Kore at Eleusis.….150

The Sanctuary as Palimpsest………………….............…………………………….........................…151

The Roman Telesterion………………………………………………......................................…153

The North Gate of the Sanctuary……………………………………….................................156

Ambivalence and Hybridity at Eleusis………………………………...................................…………161

The Telesterion, the North Gate, and Roman Ambivalence………........................….161

Eleusis, Third Space, and Hybridity………………………………….................................…169

A Postcolonial Reading of the Sanctuary….………………………………….................................176

Conclusion--A Postcolonial Reading of Eleusis and the Eleusinian Mysteries….......178

The Chapters…………………………………………............................................………………………180

Toward a Postcolonial Theory of Religion…………………………….................................……..186

Figures………………………………………………………………………………….174

Works Cited……………………………………………………………………………190

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