Topic of this paper is the religious commemoration of a historical event in Classical Athens and the role of cultural memory in its conception and performance. I intend to propose as case study the celebration of the events happened on both the eve-night and the day of the famous naval battle of Salamis, after which the Athenians claimed Greeks’ attention for having been the Saviours of Hellas. Probably from 480 B.C., the Athenian youths celebrated the victory of Themistocles’ fleet over the Persians at Salamis by playing a ritual naumachía, aboard sacred boats, in the small harbour of Mounychia (Akti Koumoundourou) at Piraeus. This tradition is testified by epigraphic sources from the Hellenistic Age until the Roman Imperial Age. Besides highlighting the positive impact of the contest and collective training in forging sense of membership and fostering unity in society, the Athenian ephebic rituals carried out at Piraeus offers us a good example of religious practice linked to a historical celebration, in the remote historical setting of Classical Athens being made topical on the level of collective memory, at the time of institutional change based on the concept of property rights. In fact, the “Naval Law” introduced by Themistocles in 483/2 B.C., established the institution of trierarchy to produce warships to face the Persian invaders. This reform led to the first attempt to define the costs and benefits of public goods in the field of national defence. Thus, institutional change in Ancient Athens, through an efficient arrangement of property rights and duties, had long-term consequences on economic performance, creating a new growth path and ensuring economic prosperity and social justice.
|Titolo:||In limine. Religious Speech, Sea-Power, and Institutional Change: Athenian Identity Foundation and Cultural Memory in the Ephebic Naumachía at Piraeus|
|Data di pubblicazione:||2013|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||1.1.2 Articolo su rivista con ISSN|