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Altar
(1,994 words)

[German version]

A. Definition and function

The Graeco-Roman altar (ἐσχάρα, βωμός; eschára, bōmós; Lat. ara, ‘fireplace’) is defined by its function and not as an object of a certain type. An altar can be an ephemeral natural or artificial elevation, hearth or building for sacrifices involving fire, drink or other elements (in contrast to the sacrificial pit dug into the ground, the βόθρος [bóthros], Hom. Od. 10, 517; Lucian Char. 22) and marks the centre of a sacrificial act. There are sanctuaries without a  temple, but never…

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Höcker, Christoph (Kissing) and Prayon, Friedhelm (Tübingen), “Altar”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 02 December 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e116540>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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