Friday, February 18, 2022

The Orphic Gold Tablets

On Wednesday 23 February the Institute will host its third event of the 2021-2022 academic year. This will be an in-person lecture in the auditorium of the Institute’s new premises (Orminiou 3A, Ilisia).

Starting at 18.30, Katerina Apokatanidis (Neda and Franz Leipen Fellow, The Canadian Institute in Greece; Ph.D. candidate in Classical Archaeology, University of Toronto)  will give a talk entitled,  “Greek Funerary Religion: The Case-Study of the Orphic Gold Tablets”.

“The talk discusses the funerary aspect of the Orphic cult practice. This cult is visible in the material record via the tombs of the worshippers of an Orphic version of Dionysos whose myth in this context goes beyond what we know from Hesiod. The Orphic worshippers were buried with the so-called Orphic Gold Tablets somewhere on their person. These gold tablets date from the late Archaic all the way to the Roman Imperial era and contain unique tidbits of information on life in the Underworld. For the purposes of this talk I will be presenting two case-studies from the corpus of tombs which have yielded an Orphic tablet, one from modern-day Larisa and the other from modern-day Rethymno. This research forms part of the topic of my PhD dissertation and aims to situate the Orphic tablets within their archaeological context, where this is not lost. With this project I hope to enrich our understanding of the funerary aspect of the Orphic cult previously understood to be operating on the fringes of official religion in Ancient Greece."

Due to Covid-19 restrictions, attendance is limited. Places will be reserved on a first-come first-served basis at All attendees must present a certificate of vaccination.

We look forward to welcoming you to our new premises for what promises to be a fascinating presentation.

Jonathan Tomlinson
Assistant Director

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