Ancient Greek cults : a guide by Jennifer Larson

By Jennifer Larson

Utilizing archaeological, epigraphic and literary resources, and incorporating present scholarly theories, this quantity bargains an obtainable account of the Greek gods for undergraduate students.

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utilizing archaeological, epigraphic, and literary assets; and incorporating scholarly theories, this publication offers an account of the oldest, such a lot frequent and engaging non secular practices of the Read more...

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Order and symmetry are not always apparent in systems that have grown and evolved blindly over long periods of time, though we surely have to do with complex systems and not random accretions. g. Jost 1985, Parker 2005), which permits examination of the interrelationships between the deities and festivals, yet also allows diachronic analysis. One drawback of the organizational format I have chosen (cults grouped by deity) is that it does not place in the foreground the interconnectedness of cults in the same sanctuary, polis pantheon, or region.

3 Zeus Laphystios and Lykaios The Pelion sacrifice also shares certain features with other, more sinister cults and myths of Zeus. A Thessalian example concerns king Athamas, who attempted to sacrifice his son Phrixos and his daughter Helle to Zeus Laphystios (the Devourer) in order to stop a drought. Either Zeus himself or the children’s mother Nephele (Cloud) arranged their escape on a flying golden ram, and this miraculous creature was the source of the famous Golden Fleece. Here again we see the juxtaposition of drought, sacrifice to Zeus, and the skin of a sheep that is thought to possess special powers or attributes.

They call one of the priests the Ox-Slayer (Bouphonos); [after striking the ox] he drops the axe and flees, for this is the custom. And refusing to recognize the man who did the deed, they put the axe on trial. The ritual has received attention for its special focus on the ox: many sacrifices included oxen, but only this one had a special priest known as the Ox-Slayer, and the alternative name of the festival was the Ox-Slaying or Bouphonia. This indicates that the festival was concerned with the value of the ox as a domesticated animal.

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