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Artemis

(479 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[German Version] (῎Αρτεμις, Doric Artamis, Latin Diana). The cult of the Greek goddess Artemis was probably the most popular in all the Greek poleis; even though she was rarely chosen the city goddess, as she was in Ephesus, Sparta, and Kalydon-Patrai. Artemis's limited significance in the (male) polis rests in the fact that primarily the women chose the virgin Artemis, who was averse to male desire, as their goddess: the maidens, such as the Athenians in Brauron, learned female …

Apollo

(561 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[German Version] (᾽Απόλλων/Apollōn; Dorian Apellon). The Greek god Apollo was worshiped in all the cities of Greece, but was recognized as the city deity above all by Argos, Sparta, and Miletus (together with its colonies). Panhellenic sanctuaries of Apollo, visited by pilgrims from afar, included Delphi with its oracle and Delos. Social analysis indicates that Apollo was apt to be …

Parousia

(2,661 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[German Version] I. Classical Antiquity – II. The New Testament – III. Dogmatics I. Classical Antiquity The common Greek verb παρεῖναι/ pareínai, “be present, assist,” has a special sense when used with reference to deities. In the Hellenistic period, the noun παρουσία/ parousía became a technical term, referring to a ritual staging of the advent in which a god or king comes to dwell among his people (e.g. Tegea celebrates Hadrian’s visit as the advent of God: IG 5.2, 50). The emphasis on presence presupposes the preceding absence of the deity (ἀποδημεῖν/ apodēmeín) when other gods rul…

Nilsson, Martin Persson

(282 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[German Version] (Jul 12, 1874, Ballingslöv – Apr 7, 1967, Lund), Swedish classical scholar. Both archaeologically and philologically, Nilsson vastly expanded our positivistic material knowledge for the investigation of Greek religion (Greece: I, 1). By emphasizing ritual (Rite and ritual) over ancient expositions and myths (Myth: II, 2), he put himself in a position to interpret Greek religion from the perspective of its origins: classical Greek religion is essentially a survival of an earlier ag…

Panathenäen

(310 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[English Version] . Das Jahresfest im Hochsommer in Athen, alle vier Jahre groß (seit 566 v.Chr.), sonst klein begangen, vereinigte die ganze Polis, die die Stadt und die ganze Region Attika umfaßte. Die Athener leiteten später das Fest der P. von der Eingemeindung der Siedlungen Attikas durch Theseus (Plut. Theseus 24) ab, also das Fest »ganz Athens«. Wenn sich die Prozession jedoch auf den zentralen Tempel der Stadtgöttin zubewegte, ist die ältere Bedeutung »das Zentralfest der Athene«. Jede Sie…

Organe/Teile des Körpers

(964 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[English Version] Organe/Teile des Körpers, religionswissenschaftlich. Rel. Traditionen kennen in unterschiedlicher Weise Entsprechungen zw. den O. des menschlichen Körpers und dem Kosmos, teilweise mythologisch dadurch begründet, daß die Welt aus den Teilen des Urmenschen geschaffen wurde; Haare können somit den Pflanzenwuchs symbolisieren, Augen (und andere Körperöffnungen) Seen oder die Wirbelsäule die Weltachse. Neben solchen Entsprechungen zw. Mikrokosmos (Mensch) und Makrokosmos (Welt) werden d…

Pausanias

(318 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[English Version] . In zehn Büchern Περιη´γησις τη˜ς ῾Ελλα´δος/Periē´gēsis tē´s Hella´dos hat P. eine Reise durch die Stätten des griech. Festlandes festgehalten: Er führt die Römer und die romanisierten Griechen durch ein imaginäres frühes Griechenland, seine Sprache ist Griech. Da er alles selbst gesehen und die ältesten Traditionen erfragt und erlesen hat (ca.155–180 n.Chr.), erhebt er den Anspruch, der wahre Kenner der urspr. griech. Rel. (Griechenland: I.,1.) zu sein; als Erklärer der Rel. ist e…

Nilsson

(254 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[English Version] Nilsson, Martin Persson (12.7.1874 Ballingslöv – 7.4.1967 Lund). Der schwedische Altertumswissenschaftler N. hat für die Erforschung der griech. Rel. (Griechenland: I.,1.) nicht nur positivistisch die Materialkenntnis sowohl archäologisch wie philol. enorm erweitert. Indem er den Ritualen (Ritus/Ritual) den Vorrang gab vor den antiken Erklärungen und Mythen (Mythos/Mythologie: II.,2.), sah sich N. in der Lage, die antike Rel. aus ihren Ursprüngen zu deuten; Rel. ist im wesentlichen survival einer älteren Agrarrel. Selbst von seinem luth. Ba…

Theokrasie

(258 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[English Version] . Ein Kunstwort in der Debatte um den Synkretismus um 1900. Im Hintergrund steht die negative Bewertung der Vermischung der Rassen in der Rassenlehre des 19.Jh. und das prot. Geschichtsbild von Volkscharakter, Nationalrel. und Landeskirche bei J.G. Herder. Die Völkermischung im Röm. Reich habe notwendig die »Vermischung von Göttern« bewirkt als Konkretion für die Invasion orientalischer Kulte in der Spätzeit der antiken Religionen. Th. zeige die »Assimilationsfähigkeit der noch u…

Zeus

(494 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[English Version] . Die Anrede des Z. als »Vater der Menschen und Götter« (πατη`ρ α᾿n̆δρω˜n̆ τε ϑεω˜n̆ τε/patē´r andrō´n te theō´n te: Hom.Il 1, 544; 4, 235 u. ö.) impliziert, daß Z. Schöpfer und Herrscher sei, der zentrale Gott des griech. Pantheons. Dies ist jedoch ein mythologischer, später auch theol. gefüllter Titel, der nicht der – geringen – Bedeutung dieses Gottes im Kult entspricht. Z.' Funktion ist eher die eines fernen Gottes, andere Götter sind den Menschen näher. Wie diese Formel gehören auch a…

Panathenaea

(366 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[German Version] . The annual midsummer festival in Athens, a major celebration every four years (since 566 bce), otherwise a minor celebration, brought together the whole polis, which included the city and the entire surrounding region of Attica. Later the Athenians traced the celebration of the Panathenaea to Theseus’s unification of the settlements in Attica (Plut. Theseus 24), making it the festival of “all Athens.” But when the procession approached the central temple of Athena, the protectress of the city, it embodied the earlier significance o…

Organs/Parts of the Body

(1,196 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[German Version] Religious traditions know various ways of establishing correlations between the organs (or parts) of the human body and the cosmos, partly in combination with a mythological justification that views the world as having been created from the parts of the first human being’s body. Thus, hair may symbolize vegetation, eyes (and other bodily orifices) lakes, and the spinal column the axis of the world. In addition to such correlations between microcosm (human being) and macrocosm (wor…

Hades

(340 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[German Version] Hades is the realm of the dead (Death) lying beneath the earth (DeathDeath) or at the end of the world, i.e. beyond the reach of the sun, where the capacity to see and to enjoy life thus lapses into a state of slumber “without seeing” (ἀίδης/ a-ídēs, aspirated only in the Attic dialect as ᾅδης/ hadēs). Escorted by Hermes the “guide of souls” (ψυχοπομπός/ psychopompós), the dead are separated from the living by the burial mound, a gate, a river (Hom. Od. XI). The personification of this realm is the god Hades who, though powerful, cannot be propitiated through …

Cybele and Attis

(330 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[German Version] Cybele does not occur first in Greco-Roman Antiquity as a “late oriental” deity, instead, she is venerated as “Mother of the gods” or simply as “Mother” (Mother goddesses) already in the 6th century bce with a temple in the center of Athens. In Rome in 205/204 bce, the Stone of Pessinus (a baityl) was introduced by one of the most prominent families and was provided with a temple at a central location in the city on the Palatine and with an important festival, the ludi Megalenses. The high priest bore the title Áttis; ordinary priests were called Gálloi. Ma…

Local Deities

(540 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[German Version] Local adherents of a religion are identified by the representation of “their” god, be it (as in polytheism; Monotheism and Polytheism) in the form of various local deities with individual names, or (as in universal religions) in the guise of secondary local deities, saints (Saints/Veneration of the Saints) or heroes, or in local divine images of the “one” god. This local dimension of a god is manifested in the construction of his house, of his local domain. The fixing of a deity w…

Theocrasia

(276 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[German Version] is a neologism coined in the debate over syncretism around 1900. In the background is the negative assessment of racial mixing in 19th-century racial theory and the Protestant historical vision of national character, national religion, and a national church in the works of J.G. Herder. According to this theory, ethnic mixing in the Roman Empire necessarily led to the “mixing of gods,” a reification of the invasion of oriental cults in the late period of classical religion. Theocra…

Zeus

(535 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[German Version] The fact that Zeus is addressed as “father of men and gods” (πατὴρ ἀνδρῶv τε ϑεῶv τε/ patḗr andrṓn te theṓn te: Homer Iliad 1, 544; 4, 235 etc.) implies that he is creator and ruler, the central god of the Greek pantheon. This is however a mythological title, later filled also with theological content, that does not reflect the low place of this god in the cultus. His function is rather that of a distant god; other gods are closer to human beings. Like this formula, other mythical ideas about Zeus belon…

Athena

(278 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[German Version] (᾽Αθήνη/ Athḗnē, Athenaía). Many Greek poleis chose the goddess Athena (with the epiclesis Poliás) as their patron deity. Several cities, including Rome (where Athena was identified with Minerva), claimed to have secured her protection in the form of a portable statue ( palladion) at the time of their founding. In the internal social structure of the polis, Athena was chosen as goddess by different groups. (1) The armed Pállas was chosen by the male citizens as …

Mater Magna

(316 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[German Version] The veneration of Mater Magna is one of the major cults in Roman religion and must therefore be strictly distinguished from other cults of “motherly” goddesses in the ancient Near East. While Kubaba of Carchemish, who had already been venerated as an all-embracing female goddess during the Bronze Age in northern Syria and southeastern Anatolia, did in fact influence the cult of the goddess Cybele of Pessinus, the transferring of the cult from Pessinus to Rome in 205 bce no longer bore any relation to the goddess from Carchemish. The introduction of Cybele w…

Anthropogony

(542 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[German Version] The question behind the story of the “origin of humankind” is not so much how the human species came into being as why we are not immortal and eternally healthy, why we must work and suffer, but also why we live in spite of impending doom: an anthropology in narrative form. The question “Where do human beings come from?” can be raised for each individual – the Sitz im Leben of many creation stories is indeed birth – but more often anthropogony initiates a thought experiment, “Must the reality …
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