Published online by Cambridge University Press: 17 April 2021
This chapter focuses on the Little Panathenaia, the version held in three years out of four, and an occasion neglected by the existing scholarship. It asks what we know about the so-called ‘annual’ celebration and how it created identities. The limited evidence shows that it was a much less complex occasion than the Great Panathenaia and it was focused on the procession and sacrifices to Athena in her sanctuary on the Akropolis. It also included a pannychis or all-night revel. The Little Panathenaia received additional elaboration in the late second century BC, when a peplos began to be offered to the goddess, while, in at least the later fifth and fourth centuries BC, a very limited set of competitions open only to Athenians was included. The identities created at the Little Panathenaia focused on Athenians and sub-groups of the city, rather than on displaying the city to external, non-Athenian visitors.