The sanctuary of the Great Gods at Samothrace and the rulers of the early Hellenism
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The island of Samothrace lies in the northern Aegean Sea, opposite the mouth of the river Evros. After being colonised by the inhabitants of the island of Samos in the 8th century BC, the isle hosted a famous sanctuary dedicated to the mystery cult of the Cabeiri, who were generally invoked as ‘‘Great Gods’’. To the Great Gods was devoted Arsinoe II since she became the wife of the king of Thrace, who was himself a protector of the sanctuary; the site was also revered by Ptolemy II, brother and last husband of Arsinoe II. The text sets out to review the archaeological, literary and epigraphic documentation that allows us to frame the sanctuary of Samothrace within the political and institutional dynamics of the early Hellenism.
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