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The Gods of Ancient GreeceIdentities and Transformations$
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Jan Bremmer and Andrew Erskine

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780748637980

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748637980.001.0001

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Identities of Gods and Heroes: Athenian Garden Sanctuaries and Gendered Rites of Passage

Identities of Gods and Heroes: Athenian Garden Sanctuaries and Gendered Rites of Passage

Chapter:
(p.245) 13 Identities of Gods and Heroes: Athenian Garden Sanctuaries and Gendered Rites of Passage
Source:
The Gods of Ancient Greece
Author(s):

Jan N. Bremmer

Andrew Erskine

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748637980.003.0014

Among the many places of worship that could be found in the territory of the city of Athens and its chôra during the classical period, several offer remarkable configurations of nature: the sanctuary of Aphrodite of the Gardens on the slope of the Acropolis with its flowery meadow, the green field in Eleusis for the celebration of the Eleusinian Mysteries in honour of Demeter and Persephone, the olive tree sacred to Athena near the Erechtheion, groves and running water at Brauron where young Athenian girls played the bear in honour of Artemis, etc. Often actualised in the tragedies of Euripides, the aetiological legends that constitute the foundations of these cults help to associate the relevant divinity with a hero or heroine. This combination is the starting point of a discussion of the identities of the gods in a polytheist system and their modifications through the association of a heroic partner.

Keywords:   Gardens sanctuaries, Rites of passage, Heroes, Athens, Artemis, Eleusinian Mysteries, Aphrodite, Athena, Brauron, Polytheism

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