Orphic Gold Lamina 4th century BC Necropolis of Thurii, Sibari, Italy (Discovery site) Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli


Excellence Initiative Programme. Jagiellonian University in Kraków. Research groups in the Heritage PRA (2nd edition).

The first rite of passage, or prothesis, means laying out of the body. (Image: Walters Art Museum/Public domain)

Project aims to build a structure of permanent research cooperation between partners from four European universities, focused not only on the realization of short-term tasks declared in this project (monograph and grant application), but first and foremost on the long-term perspective of permanent strategic partnership in permanent cooperation between research centers with growing influence on the academic community, students and PhD students. The research field - the study of ancient religions - is enforced by the international cooperation and the interdisciplinary character of the project. It aims to activate and stabilize this cooperation

The final and far-reaching goal of the project is to lead to the compilation, editing and publication (online and printed) of a lexicon of Greek ritual terminology that takes into account all aspects of religious activity related to religious worship in the area of influence of Greek language and culture from the archaic period to the late Empire. This means considering written Greek sources - literary and epigraphic - whose point of commonality is centered on language rather than on distinct cultural or religious identity. The Greek technical terms of the language of ritual require linguistic, semantic, philological, and historical explication in conjunction with religious studies, anthropological, and cross-cultural descriptions. The project is an integration of two partial and completed projects in this area: Animal Sacrifice in Ancient Greece (Krakow) funded by the National Science Centre and the LARES project implemented in 2021 within the framework of UNA EUROPA.

The revalidation of the Christian paradigm in modern culture has turned the attention of specialists and the broad community of researchers in the humanities and social sciences to the philosophical, linguistic, and cultural contexts of the roots of European religious and philosophical culture. The study of the ancient religion in the Greek world as well as in other ancient cultures of the Mediterranean, with a strong emphasis on their fundamental importance for understanding the religious phenomena of modernity, seems to be flourishing and dominating area of research on antiquity. On the other hand, recent discussion in the field of the academic study of religion on the key categories draws our attention to the need for redefinition and re-description of the main theoretical concepts used in the field. Ritual is one of the best examples of the concept which were borrowed and adapted from classical language and introduced in our theoretical toolbar in the late 19th century. 

In this perspective, the development of a professional lexicographic tool taking into account interdisciplinary anthropological, comparative and religious studies is a pressing need. Rituals as a communication event fulfilled a number of tasks: in addition to attracting the attention of the recipients of the action, they highlighted the intentions of social actors and articulated social order, ascribing the roles according to political status, age and sex, thus determining the boundaries of social groups.



Linguistic determinants in the processes of heritage formation and change

Global and local historical processes



Krzysztof Bielawski (Jagiellonian University)


Lech Trzcionkowski (Jagiellonian University)

Ana Isabel Jiménez San Cristóbal (Complutense University in Madrid)

Marco Antonio Santamaría (University of Salamanca)

Giuseppina Paola Viscardi (Alma Mater University of Bologna) 





CALL FOR PAPERS-INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE Theory and Methods in the Study of Greek Ritual Terminology, Jagiellonian University, Kraków 25-28 January 2024

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