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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 significant other to any advent to Greek mythology, exhibiting a facet of the Greek gods to which such a lot scholars are infrequently exposed.

Detailed sufficient for use as a brief reference device or textual content, and delivering a readable account targeting the oldest, so much common, and best non secular practices of the traditional Greek international within the Archaic and Classical classes, old Greek Cults surveys old Greek faith throughout the cults of its gods and goddesses, heroes and heroines.

Jennifer Larson comfortably summarizes an unlimited volume of fabric in lots of languages, regularly inaccessible to undergrad scholars, and explores, intimately, the diversity of cults celebrated via the Greeks, how those cults differed geographically, and the way every one deity was once conceptualized in neighborhood cult titles and rituals.

Including an introductory bankruptcy on assets and techniques, and recommendations for additional examining this e-book will enable readers to realize a clean standpoint on Greek faith.

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2 PROGENITOR AND KING Zeus The supreme god of every Greek pantheon, Zeus appears in Greek cults not only as a sovereign god of kings and city councils, the “father of gods and men,” but in a multitude of other, humbler and less familiar guises. Zeus Pater, or “Father Zeus” is one of the few Greek gods whose name can be traced with certainty to Indo-European origins; the same name has been recognized in the Indic god Dyaus pitar and in Roman Juppiter or Diespiter. These are deities of the sky, perceived as divine fathers.

1 This proto-Zeus probably bore only a partial resemblance to the Zeus of the Classical period, who took over the functions of a number of prehellenic deities, and also borrowed certain characteristics of Near Eastern deities in both myth and iconography. Like Babylonian Marduk and Hittite Teshub, Zeus rises to become the supreme deity of the divine assembly. Like West Semitic Baal, he is a storm god who wields the thunderbolt. Early Archaic Zeus was a rain-making, agricultural deity, sometimes paired with Ge or Demeter, and worshiped at altars constructed on mountain peaks.

3 Davies, EGF) describes Hera’s priestess adorning “the high column of the Olympian queen, Hera Argeia” with fillets and tassels. Another item of interest in the temple was the “couch of Hera,” a symbol of Hera’s status as the bride of Zeus. The Asterion river near the Heraion was regarded as the father of Hera’s three nurses, the nymphs Akraia, Prosymna and Euboia, who were named after features of the sanctuary’s topography. Local tradition, therefore, held that Argos was Hera’s birthplace. Women conducted secret rituals at the Heraion, involving purifications, sacrifices, and the offering of garlands twined from a local herb also called asterion.

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