Ancient Greek Cults: A Guide by Jennifer Larson

By Jennifer Larson

Utilizing archaeological, epigraphic, and literary assets; and incorporating present scholarly theories, this quantity will function a very good better half to any creation to Greek mythology, exhibiting an aspect of the Greek gods to which such a lot scholars are hardly ever exposed.

Detailed sufficient for use as a short reference instrument or textual content, and supplying a readable account targeting the oldest, so much frequent, and finest non secular practices of the traditional Greek international within the Archaic and Classical sessions, old Greek Cults surveys historical Greek faith in the course of the cults of its gods and goddesses, heroes and heroines.

Jennifer Larson very easily summarizes an enormous quantity of fabric in lots of languages, often inaccessible to undergrad scholars, and explores, intimately, the diversity of cults celebrated by way of the Greeks, how those cults differed geographically, and the way each one deity used to be conceptualized in neighborhood cult titles and rituals.

Including an introductory bankruptcy on resources and strategies, and proposals for additional studying this ebook will let readers to achieve a clean viewpoint on Greek faith.

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12 But most widespread of all were Zeus’ many domestic cults. Zeus Herkeios (of the Courtyard) received sacrifices on behalf of the household at an open-air altar. 67–68) illustrates the role that Zeus played as the guarantor of the male line. When confronted by his enemies with claims that he was illegitimate, the Spartan king Demaratos sacrificed to Zeus and brought his mother a portion of the entrails. Placing them in her hand, he beseeched her in the name of Zeus Herkeios to tell him the truth about his parentage, and she complied.

26 The chorus of this play tell how the god’s worshipers led a life of purity, wearing only white clothing and abstaining from all meat except the raw flesh of the bull sacrificed to Zeus. The celebrations are described as ecstatic and involved torch-lit processions over the mountain. ”27 This concept of a tomb for Zeus would have seemed reasonable to Egyptians or Syrians, who were familiar with dying gods, but it was alien to other Greeks, who never questioned that 25 ZE US the gods were immortal.

At some point during the rite, it was probably also bound with lugos branches. Celebrants at the feast wore wreaths made of lugos and reclined on beds of it. This festival has been interpreted as a drama of the deity’s disappearance and return, in which the recovery of the goddess is symbolic of the yearly cycle of vegetative abundance. A related possibility is that the drama expresses the Samians’ anxiety lest Hera, the protector of their city and guarantor of their good fortune, abandon them.

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