“Objects of cult, objects of confrontation. Divine interventions through Greek history”


This paper examines the nationalist character of divine interventions that marked Greek society during critical periods. In order to analyze the diachronic structure and the variety of such interventions that can occasionally even convey an anti-Greek meaning, distant and more recent events of Greek history will be discussed. It will be shown that the warrior saints, who are predominantly male characters, are presented as able to assist the Greek warriors against the national (or the local) enemy. The key figure of the Virgin seems to retain her female attributes and to waver between two different positions, one of inferiority and one of superiority: perceived as a female character who may need protection, she can also guarantee ultimate victory for the Greeks.