By Jennifer Larson
Utilizing archaeological, epigraphic and literary resources, and incorporating present scholarly theories, this quantity deals an obtainable account of the Greek gods for undergraduate students.
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Extra resources for Ancient Greek cults : a guide
To the altar also came suppliants, outcasts seeking refuge within the inviolate boundaries of the sanctuary. 13 The structures most often found in sanctuaries are the temple and the dining room or hestiatorion. Common meals taken in the sanctuary were central to many cults; usually the participants consumed boiled or spit-roasted pieces from sacrificial animals. The number of people who could be accommodated in such a dining room (or even a series of rooms) was quite limited, which suggests an inner circle privileged to partake of the food.
Other gods like Apollo, Artemis, and Hera were temple deities from at least the eighth century, and cult statues played an important role in their worship. The Greeks had no regular word for “cult statue” but instead used a variety of terms such as agalma (delightful thing), xoanon (carved image), hedos (seated image). As substitutes for the deity, Archaic cult statues were bathed, clothed, oiled, garlanded, paraded about the city, and otherwise ritually manipulated. 15 The temple (nos, Attic nes) was not a house of worship, but a dwelling place for the deity and a storehouse for the god’s possessions, to which access was often restricted.
In the end, coming of age remained a pivotal concept in Greek culture, a fundamental source of inspiration for both myths and rituals. ” Mary Douglas suggested that the impure can be defined as whatever is “out of order” in a given context: an unburied corpse no longer fits in human society, but belongs with the other dead in the graveyard, which is itself maintained outside the city walls. Rules about pollution and purification are attempts to create order and deal with change, particularly as it relates to events beyond the reach of normal social rules, like birth and death.