Special Topics:

Religious Foundations of Greek Institutions

GHR Classics Honors 260

copyright 1999 Dr. Janice Siegel

Welcome to Religious Foundations of Athenian Institutions. We hope to  provide a compendium database for the class ,  a site in which we can share in the research and information we have learned  and, most importantly, a website dedicated to  the Religious Foundations  of Athenian Institutions.

getting around this site:


Don't forget we meet 

Tuesday, May 1st and

Thursday, May 3rd at 3 p!


Don't forget about emailing me your final project to me for posting on the web site...E-Mail Angie

Check Out the Final Projects for this class!

top | syllabus | student presentations | readings/course sections | the Oresteia | Oracle of Delphi | Isthmian Games Nemean Games | Pythian Games | Olympic Games | the Bacchae and DionysusEleusinian Mysteries | resources 
 e-mail us

Students of  GHR 260: your grade is determined by:

 1. Class participation (that is, engaging the texts at hand, showing knowledge of the reading assignments, sharing your critical thinking)

2. Oral reports on various special topics (gods, sites, history and art) and selected secondary criticism of ancient texts.

3. Final report: a 20-25 page research project that will appear digitally and be posted on this web page.

All of your reports will be posted on the website for your perusal.  Resources for your research will follow the student presentations. Please feel free to recommend any sites or resources that may help us in furthering our knowledge.

 top  | resources 

Student Presentations on Olympian Gods

Final Research Projects

the Cult of Asklepios by Achilles Bebos

the Virgin Mary: iconography, myth and symbolism of a goddess by Angie M. Kenna


Readings and Course Sections

Assigned texts, resources for further research, and nifty links are found for each  section of our course.  Student Presentations are also good background information on gods, goddesses, institutions, festivals, and other groovy stuff all researched by your colleagues of GHR 260. Sections will be added during the course of the semester.


the Oresteia | Oracle of Delphi | Isthmian Games Nemean Games

 | Pythian Games | Olympic Games | the Bacchae | Eleusinian Mysteries & Demeter

Aeschylus' Oresteia
Dr. Mitchell-Boyask's Oresteia Study Guide
Dr. J's House of Atreus Guide
Dr. J's Illustrated Aeschylus' Agamemnon, Libation Bearers, and Eumenides 

The Oracle of Delphi

Selected readings on Delphi from Pausanias

Selected readings in  Herodotus

 Book One: look for the one on Croesus. 
13, 19, 47, 55, 65-67, 85, 167, 174
 Book Seven:
 7.139-145. Very important (the famous "hide behind the wooden walls" oracle)
 8.36-41 (I also speak of this passage on my website i think under the category of Marmara)
 just for grins, read the last two lines of 8.118

also, check out these sites, which run down the basics, including the procedure of accessing the oracle:



some other sites of interest:

of course, check out Dr. J's Illustrated Delphi for great pictures.

basic explanation on the pbs site:


classics list-serve has some interesting conversations between classicists on the topic:



PanHellenic Festivals (Nemea, Isthmia, Pythian, Olympian)

Dr. J's Illustrated Archaic Age Illustrated Lecture
a political view of the inception of the games (Dartmouth)

Isthmian Games

Ohio State University Isthmia excavations
University of Chicago Isthmia excavations
Reconstruction of Temple of Poseidon
Ostia pictures (mosaics similar to those in Roman bath at Isthmia)
Princeton University's CLA 212 site
Apollodorus on the founding of the Isthmian Games
Pausanias on the founding of the Isthmian Games
Pausanias continues


Nemean Games

Andrew Wilson' Nemea site
Princeton University's CLA 212 site
Bacchylides' Ode about victory at Nemea
Bacchylides' Ode mentioning all the games
Nemean Games foundation myth in Pausanias
Nemean Games foundation myth by Apollodorus
Apollodorus on Heracles killing the Nemean lion
Seven Against Thebes reference for names (Adrastus...)
Winter games at Nemea, reinstitution at Argos



Pythian Games

Dr. J's Lecture on Delphi as site of PanHellenic Games
Pausanias on the Pythian games
Pindar's Pythian Ode 4 (of moderate interest - tells the tale of Jason and Medea, and his quest for the Golden Fleece)
Pindar's Pythian Ode 5 (a reworking of the Homeric Hymn to Apollo's foundation myth of Apollo's Oracle)


Olympic Games and the worship of Zeus

The Olympic Games in Antiquity  
Pindar's Olympian Ode 1 (tame version of Pelops tale)
Pindar's Olympian Ode 2 (Heracles as founder of Olympian Games)
Pindar's Olympian Ode 10: another Heraclean foundation myth
Pausanias' version of the Olympian Games foundation myth
Pindar's Olympian Ode 3: why the olive tree is sacred at Olympia
Pausanias' version for different garlands for the different games
religious ceremonies at the Olympics
Heracles and the Nemean Lion (close-up)
Andrew Wilson's Olympics quiz

Historic overview of games: Thomas Martin's Lectures on Perseus:
4.10 The Olympic Games of Zeus and Hera
4.11 Competition and Community
4.12 Religion, Myth, and Community

Olympic Games and Literature
Olympics Through Time


Euripides Bacchae & the Worship of Dionysus

Euripides Bacchae

translation, introduction and notes by Stephen Esposito

Don't forget to read for March 19. . .

'Agave & Pentheus' from Timothy Gantz's Early Greek Myth

'The Uniqueness of Dionysus' from P. Easterling's Greek Tragedy

'the Asexuality of Dionysus' by Michael Jameson from the Masks of Dionysus

Professor Roger Dunkle's on-line study guide for the Bacchae 

Professor Walter Englert- how to understand Euripides' Bacchae 

When we study the Bacchae, we also study Dionysus...

Homeric Hymn to Dionysus
Dr. J's Illustrated Greek Theater
Dr. J's Illustrated Greek Drama
Optional reading: Staging a play for the Greater Dionysia

Professor Roger Dunkle's background lecture on Greek Tragedy 

The Eleusinian Mysteries and the worship of Demeter

The Homeric Hymn to Demeter by Susan Shelmerdine 

Read "Eleusian Mysteries"  DUE APRIL 3rd 

from Eleusis by George Mylonos

On-line translation and notes to the Hymn to Demeter by Gregory Nagy

General information on Eleusis

The Mysteries (primary text links)

The Mysteries (overview)

Eleusis Archaeological Project

Resources for  GHR 260 Students

Theory of Mythology

Maps of Greece from Homeric Hymns

the Encyclopedia Mythica: an encyclopedia of myth, legend and folklore

Mythmedia: Mythology in Western Art

 Jeremy Rutter's class site for City-States and Pan-Hellenic Sanctuaries is a good resource for architecture in Ancient Greece.

Vatican Museum

Perseus Database from Tufts

Resources at Temple for the study of Classics

Ancient Greek Sites on the World Wide Web

Classics List Serve Archives

Looking for Paper Topics? ALL NEW!  


top | syllabus | student presentations | readings/course sections | resources | e-mail us


Students of GHR 260 are asked to submit their research and reports to Dr. Janice Siegel or the webmistress, Angie Kenna, for posting on our website. I will strive to get your research and reports up in an efficient manner, but I can only do that with your cooperation.  If you have any suggestions, criticisms, questions or musings about this website, please e-mail me at akenna@astro.temple.edu or uberangie@earthlink.net. Please note that this website is designed for educational purposes. All
information on the website was written by either Dr. Janice Siegel or Angie
Kenna unless otherwise noted.

This site last updated April 27, 2001. amk.