Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Reasoning/Appetitive: The Purification of Delos

My favorite part of Thucydides is the purification of Delos (Thucydides 1.8.1, 3.104.1-2). I know-- it's a little strange. To me, the purification of Delos is a fascinating nexus of religious ritual and early archaeology providing insight into burial practices and the ways that the ancient Greeks viewed the remains of past ages. When I had to propose a paper topic for my Thucydides class, I asked if I could write on the purification of Delos. My professor's response was "nobody cares about the purification of Delos. There aren't any sources on it." When I looked myself just to make sure, I couldn't find anything either.
The Landmark Thucydides: A Comprehensive Guide to the Peloponnesian War
This morning, instead of reading the news, something drew me to do a L'Annee Philologique search for the purification of Delos. I only found one source, a short article by Roger Brock called "The Athenian Purification of Delos" (JSTOR), but my quick skim of the article showed me that my interest may not be a completely lost cause. Now I just need to get my hands on the Hornblower commentary on Thucydides...

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