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Fotopoulos John, Sacrificial Banquets in Roman Corinth

Fotopoulos John, Sacrificial Banquets in Roman Corinth, (trnsl. M. Goutzioudis), Thessaloniki: P. Pournaras Publications, 2006.

             The study of J. Fotopoulos deals with the sacrificial banquets in Roman Corinth on the pretext of ap. Paul’s reference to A’ Cor. 8:1-11:1 for different cases that Christians came in contact with idolothytes.

            The paper is divided in nine chapters.

            In the first chapter, the writer makes an introduction to the problematic and the survey of the research, which has preceded, analyzing the work of: Johannes Weiss, C.K. Barrett, J.C.Hurd, Hans Conzelmann, Gerd Theissen, Jerome Murphy-O’Connor, Gordon Fee, Wendell Lee Willis, Ben Witherington, Peter D. Gooch, Khiok-Khng Yeo, Derek Newton, Alex T. Cheung, Joop F.M. Smith.

            The second chapter deals with Asklepieion of Corinth, presenting the worship of Asklepios, the description of  Asklepieion of Corinth, the procedure of sacrifices and answers the question whether the Christians of Corinth dined at Asklepieion.

           The third chapter is about the temple of Demeter and Kore in Corinth. The author examines the worship of Demeter and Kore, their mysteries and celebrations, the archeological survey of their temple and, finally, answers the question of how often the Christians dined at the temple of Demeter and Kore.

          The fourth chapter presents the temples of Isis and Sarapis in Corinthia, the mysteries and rites connected to them, as well as the archeological material and the testimonies for banquets that are found in papyri.

          The fifth chapter deals with the rest of the temples, inside and around Corinth, such as the buildings/temples of the market, the grounds of Apollo, the temple of Athena Chalinitida, the temple of Capitolian Zeus, the temple of Aphrodite in Akrocorinth, Kranio, the temple of Poseidon and Palemonio in Isthmia etc.. 

          The sixth chapter analyzes the issue of the relationship between food, wine and sexual relations. The author, scrutinizing his sources, maintains that the Greek-Roman banquet was something more than just a meal. In the last unit of the chapter, he locates the repercussions of the Roman banquets in the interpretation of A’ Cor. 8:1-11:1.

          In the seventh chapter, the writer deals with the socio-rhetorical issues of A’ Cor. 8:1-11:1. According to him, two important issues affect the interpretation of the text: a) the relationship between the decision of the Apostolic Synod with Paul’s directions regarding idolothytes in A’ Corinthians and b) if two different groups, which were distinguished concerning the consumption of idolothytes inside the Church of Corinth really existed.

         In the eighth chapter, the author attempts to hermeneutically analyze A’ Cor. 8:1-11:1 and in the ninth chapter the socio-rhetorical conclusions of the study are presented.

          The book closes with an extensive bibliography, an index of sources, names and topics.


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