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Greek Heroine Cults

Greek Heroine Cults (Hardback)

£38.50
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Synopsis

This work shows that the worship of heroines, as well as of gods and heroes, was widespread in the Greek world from the 8th through the 4th centuries BC. Drawing upon textual, archaeological and iconographic evidence as diverse as ancient travel writing, ritual calendars, votive reliefs, and Euripidean drama, Jennifer Larson demonstrates the pervasiveness of heroine cults at every level of Athenian society. Larson reveals that a broad range of herioc cults existed throughout the Greek world, encompassing not only individuals but couples (Pelops and Hippodamela, Alexandra and Agamemnon, Helen and Menelaos) and families such as those of Asklepios and the Dioskouroi. She shows how heroic cults reinforced the Greek's gender expectations for both women and men through ritual status, iconography, and narrative motifs. Finally, Larson looks at the intersection of heroine cults with specific topics such as myths of maiden sacrifice, the Amazons, the role of the goddess Artemis, and folk beliefs about female "ghosts".

Jennifer Larson is assistant professor in the Department of Modern and Classical Language Studies at Kent State University.

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