In a famous passage of his Histories, Herodotus defines “Greekness” (“Hellenicity”, τὸ Ἑλληνικόν) as constituted by kinship of blood and language, by shared sanctuaries and rites, as well as by a similarity in custom and way of life (VIII, 144). This discussion, attributed to the Athenians during the Persian wars, attests to the importance of religion in all of its different declensions for Greek identity: from panhellenic festivals to the steps taken by cities in propitiating deities, to more humble offerings made by families or individuals.

The analysis of the whole multiplicity of cultic actions and representations produced by ancient communities is the focus of the “Greek religion” research group, part of the Department of Sciences de l’Antiquité at the ULiège. Calling ourselves Θίασος is a way of tipping our hat to these ancient groups that celebrated gods with sacrifices, while singing and dancing, and in a more or less organised fashion: a pleasant way of designating the camaraderie and collaboration at the heart of our research group, at the same time as underlining its scientific study of Greek polytheism.