Oskar Fletcher (UQ MPhil): Apollo Karneios in the Peloponnese

The cult of Apollo Karneios was central to Spartan society, and served as a wider symbol of Dorian identity and legitimacy in the Peloponnese. Celebration of the Karneia, the festival dedicated to Apollo Karneios, was even prioritised over waging war. Monuments and sanctuaries dedicated to Apollo Karneios were located throughout the Peloponnese, worshipped by various Dorian cities as well as peoples conquered by Sparta. Apollo Karneios was thus entwined with the history and values of this entire region. However, there are very few sources that openly discuss Apollo Karneios, and his iconography and cultural role both remain shrouded in obscurity. The precise structure and traditions of the Karneia are also unclear. This seminar examines extant evidence that sheds light on the origins, iconography, and ancient perceptions of Apollo Karneios in the Peloponnese. It will consider militaristic, initiatory, colonial and agricultural interpretations of the Karneia, and how these frameworks overlap. The presence of ram horns in this cult, their symbolism within Spartan culture, and the effect they had on wider perceptions of Apollo Karneios will also be explored.


Michie Building (09) Room 536
For the Zoom link, send an email to Duncan Keenan-Jones (d.keenanjones@uq.edu.au)