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Potnia theron

(960 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
(Πότνια θηρῶν/ Pótnia thērôn, 'Mistress of animals'). [German version] A. Preliminary remark In the study of Greek religion, the PT is the subject of several fundamental theses on the relationships between gods, humans and animals. The PT represented a vital experience in sacrifice and hunting, but also in the dangers of the human sphere of life: the sacralization of killing animals in order to save one's own life. In India, on the other hand, the master of animals represented the prohibition against killin…

Myiager, Myiodes

(192 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[German version] (Μυίαγρος/ Muíagros, Μυιώδης/ Muiṓdēs). Sacrifices attract flies. In order to drive them away, those offering a sacrifice would provide a preliminary sacrifice (with an additive?), the blood of which would satisfy the gnats (according to Ael. NA 5,17 for Leucas; 11,8). In the half-empty town of Alipheira the help of the ‘gnat-chaser’ Myiager was called upon (Paus. 8,26,7). In Olympia, on the malaria plain, similar protection was provided  by sacrifices to Zeus Apómyios, the ‘fly repeller’ (Paus. 5,14,1; Plin. HN 10,75; 29,106), or Myiakórēs/ Myiṓdēs (‘fly catche…


(68 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[German version] (ἀρεταλόγοι; aretalógoi). Functionaries at sanctuaries who recount the great deeds (ἀρεταί; aretaí) of the local god to pilgrims, particularly in healing and Isis-cults [1; 2]. Used in Lat. to mean ‘boaster’. The historic form is connected to the Gospel [3]. Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen) Bibliography 1 Nilsson, GGR 2, 228 f. 2 H. S. Versnel, Ter unus, 1990, 191 f. 3 J. Z. Smith, Map is not Territory, 1978, 190-207. E. Norden, Agnostos Theos, 1913, 143-277.


(346 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen) | Niemeyer, Hans Georg (Hamburg)
(βαιτύλια; βαίτυλοι; baitýlia, baítyloi). [German version] I. Religious Studies Large upright stones which are included in the cult activity in sanctuaries are to be found throughout the entire Mediterranean region [1]. It was the Phoenicians in particular who contributed to the spread of these. The baitylia in Tyrus and in Emesa were famous [2]. In Israel polemics and the inclusion of baitylia in the cult (Maṣṣebah) with the predication of God, exist side by side (God as a rock: Ps 28,1 [3]). Minoan iconography portrays ecstatic theophany (?) [4]. In Gre…

Festivals; Feasts

(4,658 words)

Author(s): Sallaberger, Walther (Leipzig) | Felber, Heinz (Leipzig) | Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[German version] I. The Ancient Orient The ancient Mesopotamian calendar was based on the phases of the lunar cycle and was observed in the cult on a monthly basis (1st, 7th, 15th day). Annual feasts were frequently associated with the agrarian cycle (sowing, harvest), whereby regional differences must be drawn into consideration (e.g., irrigation vs. rainfed agriculture). Non-cyclical feasts were generally related to the ruler (crowning, temple and palace construction, war, death). In the family sphe…


(1,079 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen) | Hidber, Thomas (Berne) | Karttunen, Klaus (Helsinki) | Gatti, Paolo (Trento)
(Διομήδης; Diomḗdēs). [German version] [1] Cultic hero of the city of Argos Hero of the city of Argos in the Trojan War, as opposed to Agamemnon of Mycenae, the lord of north-eastern Argolis (Hom. Il. 2,559-568; cf. Il. 23,471f. [1; 2]). Son of Tydeus and Deipyle, the daughter of Adrastus. In his aristeia before Troy (Il. 5 and 6), he killed Pandarus, wounded Aphrodite when she tried to save Aeneas (Il. 5, 290-351), and later also wounded Ares (Il. 5, 825-863). As a friend of the family, he exchanged weapons with Glaucus the Lycian (on the side o…


(13,714 words)

Author(s): Bendlin, Andreas (Erfurt) | Renger, Johannes (Berlin) | Assmann, Jan (Heidelberg) | Podella, Thomas (Lübeck) | Colpe, Carsten (Berlin) | Et al.
I. Introduction [German version] A. Definition of the concept 'Religion', the substantive for describing the religious, denotes a system of common practices, individual ideas about faith, codified norms and examples of theological exegesis whose validity is derived chiefly from an authoritative principle or being. For the academic study of religion, conversely, the word is a purely heuristic category in which those practices, ideas, norms and theological constructs are examined historically; however, the…
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