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Hieros Gamos
(862 words)

(ἱερὸς γάμος; hieròs gámos: sacred marriage).

[German version]

I. Term

A term which has attained great significance in modern research as the name for a ritual sexual union, since the emergence of the fertility paradigm in the 19th cent. (Mannhardt, Frazer). Based on the sexual intercourse between  Demeter and her mortal lover  Iasion ‘in a thrice-ploughed field’ recounted in the Homeric epic (Hom. Od. 5, 125-128; Hes. Theog. 969-971), which has been understood by analogy with north-European …

Cite this page
Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH) and Renger, Johannes (Berlin), “Hieros Gamos”, 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 21 October 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e513420>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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