Published online by Cambridge University Press: 17 April 2021
This chapter introduces the book and the questions which it asks: how individuals took part in the Panathenaia, why participating in these festivities called ‘all-Athenian’ was so important and how doing so created identities for the individuals and groups involved. It provides some basic information about the celebration and its history, as well as a discussion of previous scholarship. Then it introduces some key concepts and approaches used in the study: the importance of sacrifice, ritual and community and the ways in which social identities are created for individuals and groups. It discusses problems of the evidence for the Panathenaia, and it ends with a summary of the overall monograph.