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Omphalos

(718 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[German version] [1] Navel as center of the world (Ὀμφαλός/ Omphalós, 'navel'). The omphalos represents two signs which are combined in the omphalos of Delphi (Pind. Pyth. 4,74f.; Bacchyl. 4,4; Aesch. Eum. 40): (1) If it is true that the omphalòs thalássēs, 'navel of the sea', - as Ogygia, the island of Calypso, is called in Hom. Od. 1,50 - means the greatest distance from the human world, then, conversely, the navel of the oikuménē lies in the center of men. Thus the concept of omphalos does not express the geometrical center (but see below), bu…

Agoraeus

(103 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[German version] (Ἀγοραῖος; Agoraîos). The epiclesis of the gods designates the local and functional relationship of the god to the agora as a political and economical institution [1]. Thus Zeus in particular is cultically revered as guarantor of the statutes, and an oath is sworn to him [2; 3. 197-199], sometimes with others, including female deities (Artemis, Ge). Otherwise, Hermes is the market god par excellence (especially in Erythrae [3. 270]; IE 201 = Syll.3 1014, 90-100). Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen) Bibliography 1 R. E. Wycherly, in: Agora 3, 1957, 123a 2 H. Schwabl, …

Anthesteria

(522 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[German version] (Ἀνθεστήρια; Anthestḗria). Spring festival, celebrated wherever Ionians settle (Thuc. 2,15,4: ‘the oldest Dionysia’; prior to the Ionian migration). It is to be equated in part with the ritual of the Katagogia ‘Collecting (of the god from the sea)’ [1]. On the first day of the three-day festival (11th-13th Anthesterion), the Pithoigea (πιθ-οιγία ‘cask opening’), the wine flasks/ pithoi of the autumn are released for consumption and sale. The rural Dionysus sanctuary of Icaria celebrates the arrival of the god (Aiora [2]) and unites the …

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…

Baitylia

(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…

Aretalogoi

(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.
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