Il santuario di Zeus Olympios ad Agrigento: al di là del tempio monumentale

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


The paper aims to reassess the entire architectural and archaeological evidenceof the southern part of the sanctuary of Zeus Olympios. This includes theoikos near the SE corner of the big temple (with two building phases dated respectivelyto the mid-6th century and to the first half of the 5th century), and the area witha large pool and two halls located to the south. This is equipped with a complexdrainage system connected with two big cisterns.All these structures can now be referred to as a coherent building program carriedout from 480 to 450 B.C. The monumentality of the buildings and infrastructuresreflects a grandeur of the rituals that has not been previously addressed. Untilnow, most scholars have focused only on the colossal Temple of Zeus, and the sanctuarywas not perceived as a whole. On the contrary, it was a structured and organicensemble that could fulfil the multiple needs of religious and festive occasions. Atthe same time, it engaged in dialogue with the other components of the ‘sacredacropolis’, from the ‘Herakles Temple’ to the sanctuaries to the west.As for the rites and cults practiced in this area, the findings related mainly tothe last phase of usage of the sacellum suggest a female divinity, with a sphere ofactivities linked to female maturation. The large swimming pool and the adjoiningopen-air area were an integral part of these rituals. To the same group of structuresbelongs the next monumental hall; a stone structure facing the main entrance(a big kline or trapeza) suggests the performance of theoxenic rituals. It is an intriguingcoincidence that Pindar describes how the Tyndaridae were honoured with aspecial emphasis by the same Teron, to whom the project of the Zeus Olympiossanctuary can be attributed.
Original languageItalian
Title of host publicationThe Akragas dialogue. New Investigations on Sanctuaries in Sicily
Number of pages26
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Cite this

De Cesare, M., & Portale, E. C. (2020). Il santuario di Zeus Olympios ad Agrigento: al di là del tempio monumentale. In The Akragas dialogue. New Investigations on Sanctuaries in Sicily (pp. 99-124)