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Proskynesis
(160 words)

[German Version]

As a communicative gesture, proskynesis (from Gk προσκυνεῖν/proskyneín, “to kiss toward [someone]”; cf. Lat. adorare, venerari) expresses humility and deference: accompanied by genuflection or prostration, it consisted of placing one’s hand to one’s mouth and then extending it toward the person being honored. In Assyria and ancient Persia, it was common as a gesture of homage when entering a ruler’s presence; Greek religion considered proskynesis appropriate only when offered to the gods. During…

Cite this page
Hutter, Manfred, “Proskynesis”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 26 January 2020 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1877-5888_rpp_SIM_024711>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013



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