Initiation into the Mysteries of the Ancient World (Munchner Vorlesungen Zu Antiken Welten)

Initiation into the Mysteries of the Ancient World (Munchner Vorlesungen Zu Antiken Welten)

Language: English

Pages: 256

ISBN: 3110299291

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

This book explores ancient mystery cults and their influence on emerging Christianity. The author discusses the famous Eleusian Mysteries as well as smaller and lesser-known Greek and Roman mysteries, offering an indispensable in-depth analysis of this fascinating phenomenon.














Pettazzoni, R. VIII Phaedra 1, 2, 3 Pherecydes FGrH 3 F 48 = F 48 Fowler: 1, 2, 3, F 4 Fowler: 5, F 6 Fowler: 7 Philip II 1–2 Philo and Mysteries: 1–2; Cher. 3: 4; De vita cont. 5–6: 7; Somn. 1.8: 9; SpecLeg 10.11: 12 Philochorus FGrH 328 F 18: 1, F 2: 3, F 4: 5; F 6: 7 Philodemus Piet., ed. Obbink 4967: 1, col. 2 III.3–4: 5; On Poems 1.6: 7 Philostratus VA 4.18: 1, 2.3: 4, 5.6.7: 8; VS 9: 10, 587: 11, 601: 12 Phlegyas 1 Phoroneus 1–2 phôtisma/os 1 Photius, ed. Theodoridis θ 134: 1, k;

handed one by the priests at the start of the ritual. The large number of these bowls found inside the sanctuary suggests that they were the preferred vessel for libations from the second half of the third century BC onwards.196 After the preliminary rites, the initiates will have moved to the building in which the actual initiation took place. It is one of the vexing problems of the Samothracian Mysteries that we still cannot be certain which building this was, as we have more cult buildings

(Königstein, 1984) 109. 749 In the following paragraphs I closely follow Klöckner, ‘Mithras und das Mahl der Männer’. See also R. Gordon, ‘“Glücklich ist dieser Ort… ” Mithras-Heiligtümer und Kultgeschehen’, in Hattler, Imperium der Götter, 211–218. 750 Porph. De antro 6. 751 Klöckner, ‘Mithras und das Mahl der Männer’, 214–116. For the normal practice regarding Roman statues, see B. Gladigow, ‘Zur Ikonographie und Pragmatik römischer Kultbilder’, in H. Keller and N. Staubach (eds), Iconologia

than in any other Greek sanctuary. Women’s names have also been found on the sherds of the many kantharoi found in the sanctuary.302 Entry was not free, and there seem to have been entry tokens.303 The presence of expensive bulls (see below) and heavy drinking (below) in fact suggests that the Mysteries in the sanctuary were very much an upper-class affair. As in Eleusis, the initiation seems to have begun with a procession, which will have been followed by purifications and preliminary

dances,107 but no discursive accounts. Apparently, the initiates were sent outdoors to look for Persephone with their torches,108 like Demeter herself in her Homeric Hymn (47);109 eventually the hierophant, the Eleusinian high-priest, sounded a gong to call up Persephone.110 This was the sign for the initiates to assemble in order to witness her successful recovery, which guaranteed the fertility of the land. It must have been an extremely joyful moment and Lactantius, surely correctly, reports

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