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Apotropaic gods
(402 words)

[German version]

(Ἀποτρόπαιοι [θεόι]; apotrópaioi [theói]). Gods who keep away or ‘avert’ misfortune (ἀποτρέπω, apotrépō). Literary texts often speak of sacrifices for ‘the Apotropaioi’, as if this kind of anonymous group existed [1.109-111]: e.g. as a measure to avert the consequences of bad dreams (e.g. Aesch. Pers. 201-4; 216-9; Xen. Symp. 4,33; Hippoc. Vict. 4,89), unfavourable omens at a sacrifice (Xen. Hell. 3,3,4) or diseases (Plut. Mor. 159 f.), unnatural occurrences (Plut. Mor. 197d) or (in philosoph…

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Parker, Robert (Oxford), “Apotropaic gods”, 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 15 August 2020 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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