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Mapping Ancient Polytheisms Cult Epithets as an Interface between Religious Systems and Human Agency

Total Cost €


EC-Contrib. €






 MAP project word cloud

Explore the words cloud of the MAP project. It provides you a very rough idea of what is the project "MAP" about.

social    individuals    innovates    ensembles    names    western    indicator    thanks    effectiveness    communication    explored    bc    places    questioning    multifaceted    god    history    dynamics    religions    complexity    experimentation    ritual    interact    religious    fact    intends    networks    context    gods    promise    big    writing    reveal    volume    attributed    categories    usually    invoked    limits    norms    systematic    links    historical    technologies    map    linked    deal    humans    understand    relevance    inventiveness    groups    methodologically    area    semitic    gains    overlooks    contexts    polytheistic    interface    religion    modified    adopts    societies    powers    starts    thought    relationship    time    world    compiling    epithets    millennium    combinations    multiple    revisits    light    data    human    polarities    linking    proposes    modes    connection    entire    personifications    action    oversimplified    first    compile    ancient    kinship    monotheistic    efficient    affinity    handle    network    considerable    repertoire    attestations    divine    interprets    meet    greek   

Project "MAP" data sheet

The following table provides information about the project.


Organization address
postcode: 31058

contact info
title: n.a.
name: n.a.
surname: n.a.
function: n.a.
email: n.a.
telephone: n.a.
fax: n.a.

 Coordinator Country France [FR]
 Project website
 Total cost 2˙432˙062 €
 EC max contribution 2˙432˙062 € (100%)
 Programme 1. H2020-EU.1.1. (EXCELLENT SCIENCE - European Research Council (ERC))
 Code Call ERC-2016-ADG
 Funding Scheme ERC-ADG
 Starting year 2017
 Duration (year-month-day) from 2017-10-01   to  2022-09-30


Take a look of project's partnership.

# participants  country  role  EC contrib. [€] 


 Project objective

Writing the history of ancient religions usually starts with the gods, considered as personifications linked by kinship or affinity. Yet this oversimplified approach overlooks the fact that gods are multifaceted powers, not individuals. MAP proposes to exploit the epithets attributed to the gods as the most efficient indicator of their multiple powers and modes of action, as well as their connection to places where humans interact with them. Epithets identify the god(s) invoked and thus enhance the effectiveness of ritual communication. With the great number of combinations produced by epithets, their entire repertoire results in a highly complex system of divine networks. The volume and complexity of the data is beyond the limits of what traditional methods can handle. Today, thanks to Big Data and Social Network technologies, which deal with large related groups, we can map the divine and understand how human societies modified these ensembles of names and epithets to meet their needs. MAP intends, for the first time, to compile all attestations of divine epithets in context to enable large-scale analyses. It adopts a comparative approach to two areas: the Greek world and the Western Semitic world during the first millennium BC. Methodologically, MAP innovates by linking the systematic compiling of epithets with Social Network Analysis in order to map the groups, links and polarities of the networks that divine epithets reveal, and interprets them in the light of historical dynamics. Understanding the interface between systems and contexts is one of the major gains of MAP. Religion is explored as an area of social experimentation between norms and inventiveness. MAP also revisits the relationship between religious thought and practice, and between polytheistic and monotheistic systems, questioning the relevance of these categories. The results promise considerable advances in our understanding of ancient religions.


year authors and title journal last update
List of publications.
2018 Lebreton Sylvain
Robert Parker, Greek Gods Abroad: Names, Natures, and Transformations
published pages: 302-307, ISSN: 0776-3824, DOI:
Kernos 31 2019-11-20
2019 Lebreton Sylvain
Les Grecs de haut en bas
published pages: , ISSN: 2105-3030, DOI:
La Vie des Idées 06*02/2019 2019-11-20
2019 Bonnet Corinne
Coping with »Pantheon«
published pages: 113, ISSN: 2199-4463, DOI: 10.1628/rre-2018-0009
Religion in the Roman Empire 4/1 2019-11-20
2017 Bonnet, Corinne
Cartographier les mondes divins à partir des épithètes : prémisses et ambitions d\'un projet de recherche européen (ERC Advanced Grant)
published pages: 49-63, ISSN: 0390-3877, DOI:
Rivista di studi fenici 45 2019-11-20
2018 Bonnet Corinne, Bianco Maria
S’adresser aux dieux en deux langues. Le cas des épiclèses dans les inscriptions bilingues phéniciennes et grecques
published pages: 38-69, ISSN: 2273-0362, DOI:
Parcours anthropologiques 2019-11-20
2018 Corinne Bonnet, Maria Bianco, Thomas Galoppin, Élodie Guillon, Antoine Laurent, Sylvain Lebreton, Fabio Porzia
«Les dénominations des dieux nous offrent comme autant d’images dessinées» (Julien, Lettres 89b, 291 b). Repenser le binôme théonyme-épithète
published pages: 567-591, ISSN: 0393-8417, DOI:
Studi e materiali di storia delle religioni 84/2 2019-11-20

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