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The Centrality of Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Greek Religion

 “The Centrality of Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Greek Religion:

Ancient Reality or Modern Construct?”


April 11-13, 2008


at the Franke Institute for the Humanities

at the University of Chicago


Organized by Chris Faraone (Chicago, Classics), Bruce Lincoln (Chicago, History of Religions) and Fred Naiden (UNC, History) as the annual meeting of the Mid-Western Consortium on Ancient Religion.


Schedule of Events: 




Dean’s Welcome: Martha Roth, Dean of Humanities (Chicago, NELC) 3:30


Introduction Fred Naiden (UNC, History) 3:45


First Session: Modern Study of Ancient Sacrifice 4-6 PM

(Chair: Stephan Palmie, Chicago, Anthropology):


Bruce Lincoln (Chicago, History of Religion):

“From Bergaigne to Meuli:  How Animal Sacrifice became a Hot Topic”


Fritz Graf (Ohio State, Greek and Latin): 

“Violent Origins, Violent Debates?  Girard, Burkert, Vernant”


Reception and Dinner at the Franke Institute: 6 -8:30 PM





Second Session: Minoan, Mycenean and Celtic Comparanda 9-11 AM

(Chair: C.A. Faraone, Chicago, Classics):


Nanno Marinatos (UIC, Classics):

„Minoan and Mycenaean Sacrifice in the Second Millennium BCE: The Suffering Animal and its Killer.”


Bettina Arnold (U of Wisconsin at Milwaukee, Anthropology):

“Beasts of the Forest and Beasts of the Field: Animal Sacrifice in Pre-Roman Iron Age Europe.”


Coffee Break 11-11:15


Third Session: Roman Comparanda 11:15-12:15

                        (Chair: Clifford Ando, Chicago, Classics):


John Scheid (Collège de France):

“Roman Sacrifice and the System of Being”


12:15-2:30 Lunch at the Franke Institute


Fourth Session: Bronze-Age Comparanda 2:30-3:30

   (Chair: David Schloen, Chicago, NELC):


Carolina Lopez Ruiz (Ohio State, Greek and Latin):

“Sacrifice and the City: The Administration of Religion in Pylos and Ugarit”


Coffee Break 3:30-4:00:


Fifth Session: Greek Animal Sacrifice 4-6 PM:

                         (Chair: Derek Collins, Michigan, Classics)


Sarah Johnston (Ohio State, Greek and Latin), „Demeter Winks: Agriculture, Wild Women and Sacrifice.”


Fred Naiden (UNC, History), “Self-Interest as an Aspect of Greek Sacrifice”


Reception and Roundtable Discussion 6-7 PM:


Invited Roundtable Participants: C. Ando (Chicago, Classics), J. Bremmer (Gröningen), A. Bresson (Chicago, Classics), D. Collins (Michigan, Classics), C.A. Faraone (Chicago, Classics), M. Gaifman (Yale, Classics), E. Gebhard (UIC, Classics), B. Kowalzig (London/Institute for Adv. Study), S. Palmie (Chicago) V. Platt (Chicago, History of Art), D. Schloen (Chicago, NELC), Laura Slatkin (NYU) and T. Van Den Hout (Chicago, NELC).


Dinner at the Franke Institute 7-9 PM




Sixth Session: Animal Sacrifice in Greek and Roman Art 9-11 AM

                        (Chair: Verity Platt, Chicago, Art History)


Richard Neer (Chicago, History of Art):

„Alkamenes’ Prokne and Itys and the Politics of Violence.”


Jas Elsner (Chicago, History of Art):

 “Images of Sacrifice in the Late Roman Period”


Coffee Break 11-11:15


Seventh Session: Animal Sacrifice in Greek Drama 11:15 AM-1:15 PM

(Chair: Laura Slatkin, NYU)


James Redfield (Chicago, Classics/Social Thought), “Animal Sacrifice and Greek Comedy”


Albert Henrichs (Harvard Classics), „Animal Sacrifice in Greek Tragedy”


Lunch and Final Roundtable Discussion at the Franke Institute: 1:15 -2:30

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