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Exploring ancient Greek religion
Exploring ancient Greek religion

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2.2 The cult of Amphiaraos: the god and his sanctuary

Now that you’ve become acquainted with Amphiaraos and his cult site at Oropos, you’ll now think more about the types of ancient evidence available to you about the god and his sanctuary.

Activity 4

Timing: Allow around 20 minutes for this activity

Using the Introductory Guide [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)]   once again, make a list of the different types of ancient evidence we can use to find out about the Amphiareion and the activities which took place within it. Aim to come up with a list of at least three different types of evidence.

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You may have identified the following types of ancient evidence:

  1. Literary texts, which provide snippets of information about Amphiaraos and the relationship the town of Oropos had with its neighbours.
  2. Archaeological remains, such as building structures at the sanctuary, which provide insight into some of the ways people used the shrine – such as for the celebration of games and festivals.
  3. Reliefs, which reflect the experiences of individuals at the sanctuary, such as their victories in certain competitions at Amphiaraos’ games.
  4. Monuments and inscriptions, which provide information about the activities and decisions of individuals and communities in relation to the sanctuary.

Hopefully you now feel more informed about Amphiaraos and the Amphiareion as well as about the different types of ancient evidence available to you about the god and his sanctuary. If you do find yourself needing a refresher of the basics later on in this course, you may find it helpful to look back at Activities 3 and 4. In the rest of this course you will explore how the ancient Greeks might have viewed and performed Amphiaraos’ worship, both as individuals and as members of a broader community.