Paschalis Paschidis: Artemis Ephesia in the northwestern confines of Roman Macedonia: a case of competing Artemides
Artemis Ephesia was a renowned deity of international calibre, popular throughout the Greek world. It comes therefore as no surprise that her cult of the goddess is also attested in Pelagonia and Lynkos, in the nortwestern confines of ancient Macedonia. What is unusual –and has remained hitherto unexplored– about the cult in this particular area is the form of interaction between the divine newcomer and other local cults of Artemis. In more than one occasion, the Artemis of Ephesos seems to order her devotees to proceed to dedications to other hypostases of Artemis, local, traditional, and preexisting in the area. This paper attempts to explore the interaction between the different Artemides of the region in the context of cult antagonism in the Roman period, to date and interpret the arrival of the cult of Artemis Ephesia in the area and to inscribe the ensuing religious attitudes attested in the epigraphic evidence in the context of the interplay between old and new, traditional and innovative, local and foreign, regional and imperial, which characterizes identity building in the Roman Empire.