1st Edition

Processions and the Construction of Communities in Antiquity History and Comparative Perspectives

    268 Pages 22 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This volume elucidates how processions, from antiquity to the present, contribute to creating consensus with regards to both political power and communitarian experiences.

    Many classical sources often only tangentially allude to processions, focusing instead on other ritual moments, such as sacrifice. This book adopts a comparative approach, bringing together historians of antiquity and later periods as well as social anthropologists working on contemporary societies, analysing both ancient and modern examples of how rituals, symbols, actors, and spectators interact in the construction of communities. The different examples explored in this study illustrate the performative capacity of processions to construct reality: the protagonism of image and movement, the design of cultic itineraries, and the active participation of members of the public. In studying these examples, readers develop an understanding of how power is exercised and perceived, the extent of its legitimacy, and the limits of community in a variety of case studies.

    Processions and the Construction of Communities in Antiquity is of interest to students and scholars of the classical and early Christian worlds, especially those working on cult, religion, and community formation. The volume also appeals to social anthropologists interested in these issues across a broader chronology.

    1. Introduction, Elena Muñiz-Grijalvo and Alberto del Campo Tejedor; 2. Peisistratus’ Processional Performance: Between Ritual, Symbolic Action, and Strategy, Georgia Petridou; 3. Processing women and maidens in Greece: appearances and appartenances, Annalisa Lo Monaco; 4. The women of the domus Augusta in processions and ceremonies (1st-3rd century CE), Patrizia Arena; 5. Pompa funebris: Collective experience and political power in the shadow of death, Soi Agelidis; 6. Long and winding roads. Imperial funeral processions to the city of Rome under Augustus and Tiberius, Ida Östenberg; 7. Toward the imperial cult: the hellenistic processions as forerunners?, Elena Calandra; 8. Processions and the construction of Roman imperial power, Elena Muñiz-Grijalvo; 9. Rituals and processions in the empress Irene’s justification of power (780-802), Héctor González Palacios; 10. The processions in honour of the Mater Magna and the construction of Roman identity (3rd BCE - 4th century CE), Sylvia Estienne; 11. Ritual-feast Mockery and Humiliation during Roman Triumphs. Functions and Meanings of ioci militares from a Cultural-Historical Perspective, Alberto del Campo Tejedor; 12. The first Christian processions in Milan, Pedro Giménez de Aragón Sierra; 13. Holy Week in Huelva: an urban ritual drama, José Carlos Mancha Castro; 14. A comparative study of processions: the Baroque feast of Corpus Christi, Islamic Morocco and historicist Rome, José Antonio González Alcantud; 15. Ancient and Modern Processions at the Limits of Isaac Casaubon’s Patience, Juan Ramón Ballesteros Sánchez.


    Elena Muñiz-Grijalvo is a Professor of Ancient History, at the Universidad Pablo de Olavide (Seville). She works on different aspects of ancient Mediterranean religions. Her publications include Himnos a Isis (Trotta 2006), Ruling the Greek World (Franz Steiner 2015), Empire and Religion: Religious Change in Greek Cities under Roman Rule (Brill 2017), and Understanding Integration in the Roman World (Brill 2023).

    Alberto del Campo Tejedor is Professor of Social Anthropology at the Universidad Pablo de Olavide (Seville) and author of 22 books and more than a hundred papers focused on religion, ritual, sports, symbolism, humour, and oral literature.