Offerings to Delphi: Modern Interpetations of the Meaning of Dedications

Kulishova Oksana V.

The author reviews modern attitudes to the study of offerings to the greatest Greek sanctuary of Apollo in Delphi. She points out the interdisciplinary character of the studies and the role of sociological and anthropological approaches to the material in question. In this context exchange of gifts is considered as a mechanism of social integration and offerings are regarded as a kind of «intermediaries» in the communication between men and gods (seen from the point of view of communication in the ancient Greek world); the nature of the gift is ambivalent, the treasuries of common Greek sanctuaries are not just depositories of valuable offerings, but also a means of self-identification of Greek communities, etc. Analysing some of the modern studies (by M. Godelier, A. Jaquemin, V. Rosenberger and others), the author lists some examples of offerings to Delphi, mainly in the archaic and early classic periods, which allow to reconsider relevant written sources and archaeological material from a new point of view (the Corinthian treasury, offerings of Croesus and of other foreign kings, etc.).

Keywords: dedications, votive offerings, Delphi, historiography