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Creation

(250 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
When nineteenth-century scientists presented the claim that they could offer an exhaustive explanation of the world, the question of how life arose became a crucial issue. Their theories were set in competition with religious accounts. The confrontation climaxed on the horns of a dilemma: what need is there for a God if nature makes itself according to eternal rules? Or: what was there before the primordial soup, the Big Bang? To establish the nonexistence of God is no longer one of the goals of science. The creation account is simply a myth. A modern creation story, like Steven Weinberg's Th…

Humanism

(180 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
There are various nuances to the term ‘humanism’ which arise out of its diverse uses throughout European history. The Renaissance has often been characterized as the age of humanism because of its fascination with and idealization of human achievement in the literature, philosophy, and art of antiquity, which were then being re-discovered. As an ideological continuation of this trend, humanism came to signify a belief in the value and dignity of the human being and an optimistic image of humanit…

Architecture, Sacred

(194 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
If religion is to be a vital institution in society, buildings are needed: from a walled approach or entranceway to a cave, to pieces of architecture reserved exclusively for religious use. Buildings for worship are places where gods are thought of as dwelling, where their images are displayed, and where persons show their reverence through gifts. The altar is not always the central point. The Greek temple is rather a treasure house for votive gifts, while the sacrifice is offered on the altar i…

Altar

(899 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
In order that a gift may be offered in such a way that no others may use it for themselves, but rather be given—as a rule—to a god, a holy place is required. Normally the place is an elevated one, so that it can display the offering to the eyes of all. It may be a rock, for example, or a board or slab, or an arrangement of stones. Altars erected by the Greeks for their animal sacrifices stood outside the temple. They had to stretch far enough to accommodate a hundred beasts at once on the occasi…

Government/Rule/Politics/State

(3,689 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
Secular and Religious Power 1. a) As Jesus is interrogated before Pilate as to whether he has planned an overthrow of Roman rule, the Roman governor asks him: “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answers (in John 18:33–19:30): “My kingdom is not of this world.” The philosophically trained general presses the higher ruler of the world, as he has understood things, to defend himself; however, the latter does not see the meaning of his mission in the preservation of his life: “You would have no power …

Oral Tradition

(2,353 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
One could say that Western culture is coming to the end of a phase in its history, which has been characterized by literacy and the dominance of the written texts. Technologies like telephone and radio as well as computers controlled by speech contribute to the rise of a new type of oral tradition, as do cultural trends toward deviating from traditional prescribed texts or agendas, such as the value placed on improvisation in → music, → theater and religious services. The current emphasis on → d…

Enthusiasm

(183 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
Even more than the ‘enthusiasm,’ as the word is used loosely, that ‘arises’ when a ‘spirit’ takes hold of an assembly or gathering, the Greek word enthousiasmos ( en-, ‘in,’ + theos, ‘god’) describes the moment at which a god ‘comes into a person.’ This phenomenon can be attributed to a ‘medium,’ as for instance in ancient prophecy; of a poet, who senses the Muse at work within; or of the God received as wine, who alters consciousness. It does not actually refer to → possession by a demon. (→ ‘Ecstasy,’ for its part, indicate…

Exegesis

(178 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
Exegesis (Gk., ‘explanation’; etym., ‘out-leading,’ ‘ex-position’) denotes the interpretation or explanation of a text or a passage of a text, especially one from the Bible, and especially at the hands of an expert. In Greek sanctuaries, exegetes stood ready to ‘translate’ oracles of the god into human speech, or to explain to strangers the meaning of the chunks of boulder, or the tree, in the sanctuary, having to find an answer for everything. In theology, professionals concern themselves with …

Cemetery

(606 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
Surrounded by a wall, and near a church (or even partly within), and enjoying the latter's ‘immunity’ from assault lies the cemetery (Middle English cimiterie, from Lat., coemeterium, Greek koimētērion, and ultimately from koiman, ‘to put to sleep’; compare Ger., Frieden, denoting ‘peace’; cf. Friedhof, ‘cemetery’). Even fugitives seeking asylum could find safety here. The social prestige of the departed is reflected in the choice and form of the burial place. In the course of the nineteenth century, locations of burial were established …

Orthodoxy/Orthopraxis

(157 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
Orthodoxy may refer primarily either to right faith or right behavior. When we consider religion as a social phenomenon, orthodoxy as right behavior is the more relevant understanding of this term. On this understanding orthodox persons are concerned to follow certain patterns of behavior such as giving alms, praying, fasting and appearing at religious services. Conformity with these patterns identifies certain individuals as parts of a given community, while failure to conform identifies others as other—heterodox, outsiders. Orthodoxy may also be understood as referring…

Rebirth

(516 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
Rebirth may refer to both the idea of → reincarnation and that of being spiritually born again. Reincarnation involves a person being physically reborn into the world after having exited it through death in a previous individual existence. The previous existence cannot be consciously remembered by the individual, but still affects the person. For example, deeds and experiences in a previous life may influence the type of incarnation a person now has. Around 1900 European religious historians tended to see reincarnation as a distinguishing characteristic of what was …

Middle Ages

(1,527 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
The understanding of the Middle Ages by later ages in Europe has passed through a number of phases. Even the term ‘Middle Ages’ is a modern convention. Enlightenment thinkers tended to use the expression ‘the dark ages’ to refer to this period, in order to set it up as a gloomy foil, making the light of the new era shine all the brighter. In the confrontation of the French Revolution of 1789, both the revolutionaries, on the one hand, and the nobility and the Church, on the other, laid claim to …

Theocracy

(1,051 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
1. What has occurred in → Iran and in Algeria in the last two decades of the twentieth century, in terms of deadly violence, deprivation of individual rights, and coercion to live according to the rules of religious laws, is perceived in the West with horror and revulsion, and labeled ‘theocracy.’ ‘Theocracy’ (Gk., ‘God's government’) contradicts ‘democracy’ (Gk., ‘people's government’). The former designation fuses a criticism of the religious grounding of political crimes with a criticism of r…

Marginality/Liminality

(526 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
Marginality is a sociological term used to designate persons who live on the periphery of society as opposed to those who take up the central role in a society, enjoying particular privileges and access to power and influence from which marginalized persons or groups are excluded. The most influential segment of a society is not necessarily the same as the majority, nor do marginalized groups necessarily correspond to demographic minorities (e.g. blacks in the Antebellum South constituted the ma…

Apologetics

(107 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
In order that theologians might be provided with arguments for the ‘defense’ of church teaching in discussions with ‘unbelievers,’ apologetics was taught as part of their education. First, in the debate with ‘scientific atheism,’ and then, in Germany, in that against National Socialism, apologetics experts gathered reports and distributed them to the pastoral clergy. Here it was, and is, necessary, first, to know the objections of opponents, and then the apposite responses to them. This process …

Cross/Crucifixion

(1,217 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
The ‘Crucifix Affair’ 1. In the folk schools of Bavaria, a crucifix hangs over the chalkboard—a ‘Cross with the Nailed One,’ the suffering Christ. In 1995, a parental couple insisted that children not be required to gaze upon this mute sign of Christian faith unless they shared the faith. In the Weimar Constitution, they argued, and in the German Basic Law, the state had obliged itself to ‘neutrality of Weltanschauung,’—neutrality when it came to a worldview—so that this display of the crucifix contradicted the basic rights of every citizen. True, unlike the case…

Antiquity

(4,038 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
Biases of periodization 1. a) The Protestant humanists accustomed us to a tripartition of history: geographically into old world, new world, and third world; and historically into antiquity, Middle Ages, and modernity.1 This determination also provides a help in practical ordering, especially in our method of counting by centuries ( saecula), as it expresses an assessment of our times. Our enumeration of centuries begins with the ‘birth of Christ,’ runs forward and backward, and, with ‘new world’—or ‘new age’—indicates the hope of an era ‘accor…

Superstition

(68 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
The designation is a polemical one, connoting a distance taken from the acts of persons, other than oneself, which must be called religious, but which either seem exaggerated ( superstition), or are forbidden by official religion. Pastors, especially, and (other) intellectuals use it to disparage the piety of the ‘uneducated folk.’ From an atheistic viewpoint, any religion can be called superstition. → Atheism, Polemics, Religion Christoph Auffarth

Hereafter

(323 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
A hereafter, in the raw sense of ‘the other side,’ necessarily corresponds to the fact that a boundary is traced when a dead person must be withdrawn from the world of the living, to be buried beyond a boundary, a stream, or a cemetery wall, in a special area. Here, in ambivalent reciprocity, are both the ‘disposal of’ the corpse, lest the living suffer the peril of contamination (→ Purification/Hygiene/Bodily Grooming), and the ‘provision for’ the departed in the life after death. But the conceptualization of a life after death als…

Ecstasy

(129 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
Unlike → enthusiasm, when God or the Spirit enters human beings, in ecstasy (Gk., ek-stasis, ‘standing out of’) human beings ‘leave’ themselves, so that they lose consciousness and self-control. The concept is variously differentiated. In the psychological sense, euphoria (→ Emotions/Feelings) can be included. The anthropology of religion has especially described the techniques of the release of the spirit or → soul from the body by dance, rhythm, or drugs. In a context of the history of religions, the applic…

Dualism

(3,801 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
We/Not-We 1. The most unambiguous and most simple way to ascertain one's own place in a complicated reality consists in dividing the world into ‘ We’ and ‘ Not-We.’ The social identity determining which individuals belong to ‘ We,’ and which as ‘ Not-We’ are to be left out, is constituted as the result of many criteria. After all, in many ways the members of a group are alike, while they are distinct in others. Culture operates precisely through the perception of difference. Since no individual case is unambiguous, dualism contributes to…

Miracles

(1,626 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
Miracles are a basically ambivalent element of religion, as they are both expected to occur or be believed in as a part of religious life and are also liable to arouse criticism and skepticism. Miracles occur outside the course of everyday existence, provoking both belief and unbelief. Miracle Narratives Narratives about miracles serve to substantiate the activity of an otherwise invisible God in the world, whom faith and piety require to be willing and able to intervene in a crisis or to demonstrate various divine attributes. Miracle narrativ…

Hermeneutics

(227 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
The expression “hermeneutics” (from Gk., hermeneuein, ‘to translate,’ ‘to interpret’) denotes the methods of interpretation of a text (→ Text/Textual Criticism) when seen as part of its exposition. Hermeneutics is of key importance especially for religion, when the latter is no longer temporally and locally embedded in the context in which a proposition or relation has found its Sitz im Leben. One way of ‘translating’ such a text into the present consists in expounding its ‘deeper’ sense, its meaning for times and places other than those of its original …

Asylum

(1,033 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
Human Right? 1. Asylum, the assuring of protection to strangers, has religious roots. Church asylum, and the sanctuary movement (in the United States), plead this ancient religious tradition. In 1949, the Federal Republic of Germany committed itself to the following human right: “Political refugees have a right to asylum” (Art. 16.2). This formulation goes much further than the (non-binding) United Nations Convention on Human Rights of December 12, 1948: “States may grant asylum to political refugees.” Nevertheless, even the German exp…

European History of Religion

(3,506 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
The Project 1. a) The project of a European history of religion is new. It is to be distinguished from two other perspectives on the same object. On the one hand, there is church history that finds religion, by definition, in the Church, with extra-ecclesial religion taken for heresy, paganism, and secularization. In such a view, any ‘religion’ is an illegitimacy. The counter-thesis presents Christianity as a late and foreign, Eastern, religion, which has suppressed “Europe's own religion” (Sigrid…

Archaism

(148 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
With the crisis of the belief in progress, in the 1880s, came a change in the models of history. Instead of an evaluation of the progress of the ages as a progress from primitive beginnings to ever loftier rungs on the ladder of humanity, one encounters a complete reversal of the conceptualization of this development. First, archaeologists came to understand that pre-classical art is more than a ‘not yet’—the incapability, so to speak, of presenting anything worthwhile at this early stage—which …

Violence

(139 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
Theologically, it can certainly be concluded that all religions have the goal of peace. But the opposite goal can just as easily be deduced. The rejection of violence among the historical conditions of a religion's emergence says nothing as yet about the possibility, in other situations, of justifying violence, and founding it in religion. The historical experience of Christians' crusades and Islamic tolerance occasions doubts as to whether the images of the ‘sword of Islam’ and that of the ‘God…

Monarchy/Royalty

(1,340 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
Fascination with Another World Although functioning monarchies are very rare, the lives of royal families keep fascinating people. Even when royalty are the objects of scandal, they are regarded with a certain envy. We tend to project our dreams of an ideal life onto royal families. Whatever their lapses, they remain idols, as did Lady Diana, estranged wife of the heir to the British throne, who was fondly remembered as the ‘Queen of Hearts’ after her fatal accident in 1997. Sacredness of the King or Queen In modern societies with democratic institutions, the death of the head of…

European History of Religion: Time Chart

(2,453 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
In terms of the indication of the entry above, European history of religion is bound up with an urban public character. Its orientation is to ancient discussions and methodical approaches of the logic of a quasi-Aristotelian method of ‘theo-logy,’ and the logic of the majority of religions. This situation was reached with the twelfth-century ‘Renaissance.’ In contrast, the antiquity of the Eastern Mediterranean extends to the demise of urban culture with the capture of Constantinople (‘Byzantium’) in 1453 (→ “Antiquity,” Time Chart). Era 1: Europe appropriates the culture of …

Holocaust

(281 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
The term ‘holocaust’ was proposed at the beginning of the 1960s by Elie Wiesel, who himself was nearly killed at Auschwitz. This term was intended to designate the unspeakable murder of six million European Jews, whose destruction was bureaucratically organized and industrially executed. Although the term originated in America, it has become current in Europe especially through the American media. The Greek word holókaustos is a translation of a term from the Hebrew Bible meaning ‘wholly burned’ or ‘burnt offering’ and describing the type of sacrifice in wh…

Sunday/Sabbath

(1,061 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
1. a) In most Western societies where Christianity has been the dominant religion for a long time, Sunday has a special place as a ‘day off.’ As a day of rest and pause from labor, however, Sunday is not very old. In societies defined by the sowing, cultivating, and reaping of nutrients, season and weather govern the rhythm of work and rest. Animals must always be cared for: feeding, milking, and carrying out the dung must be seen to. The farm family cannot take a ‘day off.’ The dyers had their ‘blue Monday,’ when they dried and oxidized the wool that had been steeped in dye on Sunday. The Sabbath, a …

Blessing

(341 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
While prayer expresses wishes in one's own or another's behalf, blessing expresses God's benevolent power ( salus, ‘salvation’) upon others. The Aaronite blessing, with which Christian divine service is concluded, expresses blessing not solely as wish, but at the same time as fulfillment: the minister or priest confers it upon the other in God's name (“The Lord bless you,” Num 6:21–27). He bestows his name upon Aaron, brother of lawgiver Moses, since the former is the model for all later priests. The authoritat…

Antike Religionen

(4,018 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
1. Renaissance und Reformation Die A. R. sind für die europ. Geschichte von überragender Bedeutung. Gerade in der Nz. gewannen sie eine Position, in der sie als Autorität gegen bestehende Traditionen kritisch eingesetzt wurden. Unter dem Banner der Renaissance wurde die Antike zum Experimentierraum der Gebildeten, in dem sie sich mit der Tradition normativ auseinander setzen konnten [25]; aus Kritik erwuchsen die Programme der Reformen. Lat. Schriften wurden als renatae litterae (»wiedergeborene Literatur«) aus dem Archiv der klösterlichen Wissensspeicher herausg…

Hermetik

(1,452 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
H. ist eine Tradition esoterischen Wissens, die im Gewand altägyptischer Weisheit auftritt und sich bes. in der Frühen Nz. entfaltete. 1. Die älteste Religion als Wissen für die Wenigen Marsilio Ficino, der wiss. Leiter der Florentiner Platon-Akademie, unterbrach seine Platon-Übersetzung, um 1463 die Weisheit aus dem Alten Ägypten dem lat. sprechenden Europa als Übertragung aus dem Griechischen zu präsentieren [3]. Damit hatten er und die intellektuelle Elite, wie sie glaubten, die Urkunde der ältesten Religion in der Hand, von der schon der griech. Geschichtsschrei…

Hermeticism

(1,496 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
Hermeticism is a tradition of esoteric knowledge that manifested itself in the guise of Ancient Egyptian wisdom and flourished particularly in the first centuries of the early modern period. 1. The oldest religion as wisdom for the few Marsilio Ficino, the academic leader of the Florentine Platonic Academy, interrupted his translation of Plato in 1463 in order to present the wisdom of the Ancient Egyptians to Latin-speaking Europe in a translation from the Greek [3]. He and the intellectual elite believed that they had in their hands a document of the oldest, primal r…
Date: 2019-03-20

Ancient religions

(4,176 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
1. Renaissance and Reformation Ancient religions are of overwhelming importance in European history. It was in the early modern period that they became available for critics to deploy them as an authority against existing traditions. Antiquity became an experimental space within which scholars could challenge the norms of tradition under the banner of the Renaissance[25], and their criticism gave rise to programs of reform. Latin writings, now as renatae litterae (“reborn literature”), were retrieved from monastery archives that had acted as repositories of this k…
Date: 2019-03-20

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…

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…

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…

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…

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 …

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…

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…

Corinth

(402 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[German Version] The location at the large east-west connection of the Mediterranean Sea, where ships had to be drawn across a short stretch of land from one sea to the other (with the harbors Cenchrea and Lechaion), made Corinth a junction of cultural contact in antiquity. With its colonies, the city was a water bridge and a land bridge from east to west and north to south. It attracted merchants and artisans – along with their religions –, Egyptians, Carthaginians, Jews, and the tent-maker Paul`. As the center of opposition against the Romans, Corinth was destroyed in 146 bce, but it did n…

Aegean/Minoan/Mycenaean Religions

(977 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[German Version] I. In the Context of the East – II. Historical and Regional Differentiation – III. Religion and Cults I. In the Context of the East All around the Aegean in the 2nd millennium bce cultures emerged with an orientation toward the East, borrowing eastern systems, such as the economic, military, high-societal, religious centrality of cities with sophisticated palaces, the archive system with clay tablets an…

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 …

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…

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 …

Pausanias

(340 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[German Version] In the ten books of his Περιήγησις τῆς ῾Ελλάδος/ Periḗgēsis tḗs Helládos, Pausanias records a journey through various sites of mainland Greece. Writing in Greek, he conducts Romans and Romanized Greeks on a tour of an imagined ancient Greece. Since he has seen everything himself and has inquired critically into the earliest traditions (c. 155–180 ce), he claims to be the true expert on the original religion of Greece (I, 1). As an interpreter of that religion, he avers his superiority to the local guides, because he focused his attent…

Cabeiri

(201 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[German Version] The two or perhaps more Cabeiri constitute a nameless group of gods for whom local cults were established in the eastern and northern Aegean. A cult in mainland Greece existed only in Boeotia. Sometimes identified with other cultic groups such as the Curetes, ¶ the Corybants, the Dioscuri or the Daktyloi, they reflect male cultic associations to which admittance was effected through initiation (Rites of passage). The mysteries of Samothrace, in which especially seafaring persons sought to acquire protec…

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…

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…

Local Cults

(381 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[German Version] commonly refers to those cults and corresponding personifications (Local Deities) that are tied to a specific location. Such local cults are anchored in the social community of people who live together in one place and who also function and understand themselves as a community in their non-religious relations. As a local unit, and as the community with the highest rate of interaction after the family, the local cult may be largely identical with the political community; yet at the…

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…

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…

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…

Anthropology

(1,411 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[German Version] I. Philosophy – II. Scientific Anthropology I. Philosophy The study of human beings, first of all, and from the 16th century a philosophical discipline that developed from rational psychology and moral philosophy; since the 20th century anthropology has been a philosophical school of thought. Philosophical anthropology first flourished in the 18th and 19th centuries as a view of human beings that neither rests on the metaphorical and theological assumption of the image…

Aphrodite

(546 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[German Version] (᾽Αφρδίτη; Lat. Venus). Most of the Greek cities dedicated shrines to the Greek goddess Aphrodite; she is rarely found as the city deity, as in Aphrodisias in Asia Minor; Corinth is considered her city. Within the internal social structure of the polis Aphrodite was chosen as goddess in the following contexts: 1. By young women on the day befo…

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 …

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…

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 …

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…

Kingship, Sacral

(577 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph
[German Version] Kingship as a pre-state and proto-state form of rule is at first confined to the person of the ruler; with his death, the order that he had guaranteed goes under. In order to avoid this anarchy, the ruling families first attempt to find procedures that guarantee the stability of the community beyond the life of the person, for instance through establishing the successor early on, or restricting eligibility of possible successors to the royal family or to a small number of aristocr…

Papacy

(1,168 words)

Author(s): Rademacher, Stephan | Auffarth, Christoph
Title and Claim 1. The pope (from Gk., papas, ‘father’) is the spiritual and secular sovereign of the Catholic Church, with his seat in Rome: he is plenipotentiary of doctrine, ordination, and leadership, including the power of sanction. His full title reads: “Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles [Peter], Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Patriarch of the West, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province [of the Church], Sovereign of Vatican City State.”1 The title contains claims meant to provide sacred a…

Religion

(6,742 words)

Author(s): Auffarth , Christoph | Mohr, Hubert
The Power of Definition 1. a) The boundary between what religion is and is not, has important effects: it excludes it from undeserved privileges, and lays out its concerns as either illegitimate or unlawful. These issues arise in the debates over ‘fundamentalism,’ Islamic religious education, or over ‘sects and cults,’ as, for example, in the disagreement over whether Scientology is a religion or a (criminal) ‘economic undertaking.’ An example may clarify the point. In December 1992, Hindus destroye…

Introduction: The Academic Study of Religion—Historical and Contemporary Issues*

(13,230 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph | Mohr, Hubert
* Introductory remark: The following survey is an attempt to present scientific trends and different schools and styles of research that have either been characteristic of the academic study of religion over the past century or that have recently entered upon the scene but have nevertheless already had an effect on religious research. This is, therefore, a study of the typical and the paradigmatic (which is not to imply that another approach would have been qualitatively inferior, this is simp…

Agrionia

(263 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[German version] (Ἀγριώνια; Agriṓnia). Springtime women's festival in the Dorian and Aeolian regions [1]. The associated myths ascribe Manaedic behaviour to the women. In the Argolis madness takes hold of the daughter of the king of Tiryns, the Proitid (Hes. fr. 37,10-15 M-W: Hera as cause; Hes. fr. 131 M-W: Dionysus); the women rip their own children to pieces (Apollod. 2,28; 3,17). Melampous can give counsel; a suckling pig sacrifice cleanses (Proitid myth and ritual: Hesych; s. v. ἀγριάνια; suck…

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 …

Euphorbus

(112 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[German version] (Εὔφορβος; Eúphorbos). Hero in the Iliad on the Trojan side, son of Panthoos and Phrontis [1]. Together with Hector he killed Patroclus (Il. 16,806-815); Menelaus killed him in a counter-strike (Il. 17,9-60) [2]. His shield was kept at the Heraeum of Argus (Paus. 2,17,3).  Pythagoras considered himself to be an incarnation of E. (Heraclid. Pont. fr. 89 Wehrli/Schule; Callim. Fr. 191,59-63 Pfeiffer; Diog. Laert. 8,1,4; Ov. Met. 15,160-163 etc.) [3; 4]. Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen) Bibliography 1 P. v. d. Mühll, Kritisches Hypomnema zur Ilias, 1952, 255 2 L. Kahi…

Actorione

(240 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[German version] (Ἀκτορίωνε; Aktoríōne, dual). Monstrous pair of Siamese twins (Hes. fr. 18 M-W τερατώδεις); with their two heads, four arms and legs, and merged bodies, the pair are extremely strong (Hes. fr. 17; 18). In the Iliad, Nestor boasts that he would have been able to kill the Actorione Molione, Cteatus and Eurytus, if their father Poseidon had not supported them (Il. 11,750-752). On another occasion they defeat Nestor in chariot racing (Il. 23,638). The genealogy is threefold: alongside …

Manticlus

(112 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[German version] (Μάντικλος; Mántiklos). The sanctuary of Heracles Mantiklos in Messana was founded by M. according to Pausanias (4,23,10; 26,3). M. may be a fictitious person reconstructed from an epiclesis, as the history of the First Messenian (Aristomenes) War (about 500/489 BC), with which M. is connected, contains fictitious elemants [1. 169-181]: as a son of a mantis (seer) Theoclus, M. was allegedly chosen by Aristomenes [1] beside his son to be a colonist of the Messenians during their flight to Sicily Colonization; Messenian Wars Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen) Bibliograph…

Maleus

(209 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
(Μάλεως, Μάλεος; Máleōs, Máleos). The mythography of late antiquity mixed together several persons of this name [1]. [German version] [1] Dedicated a cliff near Phaestus A cliff protecting the harbour of Phaestus on Crete was said to have been dedicated by a M. to Poseidon (schol. Hom. Od. 3,296; Suda s.v. M.); the link to Cape Malea [1], which is established as early as the Odyssee, can be found also in the grave epigram Anth. Pal. 7,275 of the Imperial period. Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen) [German version] [2] Tyrrhenian robber (myth.) Named as one of the Tyrrhenian robbers (also …

Danaus, Danaids

(828 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[German version] (Δαναός, Δαναίδες; Danaós, Danaídes). Having quarrelled with his twin brother Aigyptos, according to the myth D. flees Egypt with his 50 daughters (the Danaids) for the Argolis and is given asylum there (Aesch. Supp. 1; Danaids TrGF 3 fr. 43-46; T 70 [1; 2]). However, the 50 sons of Aigyptos pursued the girls to Argos and wanted to force marriage on them. D. persuaded his daughters to pretend to go through with this, but then to decapitate the bridegrooms on the wedding night. Only o…

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.

Atheism

(459 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[German version] Modern atheism appeals to ancient models as its authority in its repudiation of the (Christian) religion; it even creates martyrs. While atheism in modern times turns against monotheism and institutions derived from it -- the term atheism first appears in the 16th cent. --, the ancient terms, including ἄθεος ( átheos, ‘god-less’), were part of a polytheistic system of local god-persons, which was realized in cultic forms and does not assume a verbalized, conceptual credo. Therefore, one must distinguish for ancient atheism: 1. Th…

Dictynna

(322 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[German version] (Δίκτυννα; Díktynna). Goddess of fishing, and of the hunt, in Crete. Samians established her sanctuary in about 519 BC on the steep slope of the Tityrus (Rhodopou) peninsula of western Crete [1; 2], according to Hdt. 3,59. Her cult became widespread (Plut. Mor. 984a) as did that of the equivalent figure of Britomartis (Callim. H. 3, 189-205), aside from western Crete, at Aegina and Aphaea (Paus. 2, 30,3), in Gythium, Sparta and Laconia, Athens, Phocis, Massalia and Commagene [3; 4]…

Bendis

(537 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[German version] (Βενδῖς; Bendîs). The Thracian goddess B., still known to the Greeks in the 6th cent. (Hipponax fr. 127 W.) (see Hdn. 2, 761 L.; Liv. 38,41,1; only as antiquarian knowledge? [1. 114]), B. is understood in the interpretatio graeca as an  Artemis (Hdt. 4, 33; 5, 7; Palaephat. 31; Hsch.), as  Hecate (Plut. De def. or. 13, 416e, owing to incorrect etymology; Hsch. s.v. Ἀδμήτου κόρη) or Persephone (Orph. Fr. 200 OF; cf. texts in PCG 4, p. 165; cf. 159). The iconography, too, aims at equating her with Artemis as a hunting …

Bouphonia

(286 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[German version] (βουφόνια; bouphónia). In the Athenian Dipoleia, the ox that first eats of the sacrificial grain is sacrificed because it has desecrated the gift for the god (Porphyr. Abst. 2,28-30; this probably goes back to Theophrastus [5]; Paus 1,24,4). The slaughterer -- a hereditary office of the Thaulon family [3. 161] -- kills the animal for this reason and then flees. In the myth the Delphic oracle orders that the fleeing slaughterer, the farmer Sopater, be brought back and that he repeat…

Agamemnon

(936 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[German version] (Ἀγαμέμνων, Agamémnōn). King of the Argives in Mycenae. In the early Greek epics A. led the army of the Argives ( Danai, Achaeans) against Troy, to avenge the kidnapping of the wife of his brother Menelaus. He brings the greatest fleet from the north-eastern Peloponnese (in the ships' catalogue Il. 2,569-575 south-western Argolis belongs to Diomedes, the remainder and as far as to Corinth, to A. In contrast to this, lord of ‘all Argus’ (Il. 2,107; 9,141 [1.180 f.]). In the Iliad he causes his charismatic rule [2] to waver through the theft of Achilles' capti…

Maleatas

(182 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[German version] (Μαλεάτας; Maleátas). The epiclesis M. for Apollo is derived from the place-name Malea [1], the cape in the south-east of the Peloponnese (of the Mani) feared for its storms (Hom. Od. 3,287 et passim). Poseidon had a cult there (Eur. Cyc. 293; Paus. 3,23,2). Typically, however, it is Apollo rather than Poseidon who bears this epiclesis in the eastern Peloponnese and radiating outward from there, for example in Piraeus (IG II2 4962); here M., as well as Apollo, receives his own preliminary sacrifices before Asclepius. Another link with healing cults …

Lykeios

(334 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[German version] (Λύκειος; Lýkeios). The epiclesis L. ( Lýkios for the first time in the Imperial period) characterizes a local and functional peculiarity of Apollo. The etymological explanations mirror the religious philological hypotheses: the derivation from ‘wolf’ (λύκος/ lýkos) resulted in L. becoming a totem animal [3. 221] or allowed people to assume, according to the pattern of natural magic, that it could magically fend off the enemy of the herds. Importation of gods is behind the interpretation that Apollo was the Lycian god (Hom. Il. 4,101; [2. 445-448]). Even less…

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…

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, …

Dragon slayers

(519 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[German version] Dragons, from the Greek δράκων ( drákōn) derived from δέρκομαι ( dérkomai) ‘to look at penetratingly’ (Porph. De abstinentia 3,8,3), are mythical beings combining the superhuman qualities of various animals [1]. In mythology the world of humans was threatened by amphibious snakes (synonym: ὄφις; óphis, Hom. Il. 12,202/208), fish (κῆτος; kḗtos) or composite creatures. Only a hero could hold up against their power, gaze, odour and fiery breath, multiple heads and limbs. Victory over the dragon freed mankind from mortal peril, and t…

Hermetica

(2,461 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Bremen)
A. Concept and ancient originsH. denotes a tradition of esoteric knowledge that was very highly regarded, particularly among Renaissance Humanists, because it was believed to feed from the oldest fount of wisdom, that of Ancient Egypt. The name Hermes Trismegistus refers to the Ancient Egyptian god Thoth, whom the Humanists held to be the unadulterated source of the primal wisdom that was later recorded in writing in the so-called Corpus Hermeticum (= C. H.). In historical fact, this corpus is a collection of 18 treatises, mostly of religious philosophy, origin…
Date: 2016-11-24

Aiora

(275 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[German version] (αἰώρα; aiṓra, ‘swing’). At the spring festival of the Anthesteria, seat cushions or chairs were suspended from trees by ropes, for children to use as swings. This is portrayed on choe pots [pl. 1, 31,2; pl. 4, 18]. The custom is attested for Attic Icaria, the mythical place of arrival of Dionysus as wine god. Because the rough shepherds do not recognize the god's gift, they attempt to kill him, but instead strike the old man, the god's host, Icarius. The daughter Erigone wanders v…

Aegisthus

(149 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[German version] (Αἴγισθος; Aígisthos). Pre-Grecian name [1]; neologism in the epic, short for αἰγι-σθένης [2]. In the Odyssey, son of Thyestes (only Od. 4,518); usurps the throne and wife of  Agamemnon. He murders (Od. 3,266-71) the conqueror of Troy on his homecoming. Thereafter he rules for seven years as king in Mycenae, until Orestes takes revenge for his father. A. is placed there as a negative (the murderer as king ὑπὲρ μόρον Od. 1,29-43; ἀμύμων, ‘good-looking’ instead of ‘beyond reproach’ […

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…

Eusebeia

(402 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[German version] (εὐσέβεια; eusébeia). With eusebeia the Greeks characteristically conceptualized religion in a different way from the Romans with their religio or modern research with its ‘beliefs of the Hellenes’ or ‘Greek religion’ [1]. Eusebeia remained a part of the social value-system, in which the gods had no exclusive place. Factually and to some extent chronologically, three spheres may be distinguished: 1. In the polis, eusebeia describes a relationship of belonging and authority with regard to one's own parents, the polis and its norms, and the gods (Lys. 6. 33; …

Omphalos

(643 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[English version] [1] Nabel als Zentrum der Welt (Ὀμφαλός, “Nabel”). Der O. repräsentiert zwei Zeichen, die sich im O. von Delphoi (Pind. P. 4,74f.; Bakchyl. 4,4; Aischyl. Eum. 40) verbinden: (1) Wenn der omphalós thalássēs, “Nabel des Meeres”, wie Ogygia, die Insel der Kalypso, in Hom. Od. 1,50 heißt, die äußerste Entfernung von der Welt der Menschen bedeutet, dann liegt umgekehrt der Nabel der oikuménē im Zentrum der Menschen. Im Konzept des O. ist also nicht die geom. Mitte (doch s.u.), sondern die zentrale Bed. ausgedrückt. Daß Ogyg…

Mantiklos

(99 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[English version] (Μάντικλος). Das Heiligtum des Herakles M. in Messana sei, so Pausanias (4,23,10; 26,3), von M. gestiftet worden. M. mag eine aus einer Epiklese rekonstruierte fiktive Person sein, wie überhaupt der 1. Messenische (Aristomenes-)Krieg (etwa 500/489 v.Chr.), mit dem M. verbunden wird, fiktive Historie enthält [1. 169-181]: Als Sohn eines Mantis (Sehers) Theoklos sei M. von Aristomenes [1] neben dessen Sohn zum Kolonisten der Messenier bei ihrer Flucht nach Sizilien ausersehen worden. Kolonisation; Messenische Kriege Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen) Bibliogr…

Drachenkampf

(500 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[English version] Drachen, von griech. δράκων zu δέρκομαι “durchdringend anblicken” (Porph. De abstinentia 3,8,3), sind mythische Wesen, die übermenschliche Eigenschaften verschiedener Tiere vereinigen [1]. Die oft amphibisch lebenden Schlangen (syn. ὄφις, Hom. Il. 12,202/208), Fische (τὸ κῆτος) oder Mischwesen bedrohten im Mythos die Lebenswelt der Menschen. Nur ein Held vermochte ihrer Kraft, ihrem Blick, ihrem Geruch und Feueratem, ihrer Vielzahl von Köpfen und Leibern standzuhalten. Der Sieg ü…

Agoraios

(95 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[English version] (Ἀγοραῖος). Die Götter-Epiklese benennt die lokale und funktionale Beziehung des Gottes zur Agora als polit. und ökonomischer Institution [1]. So wird bes. Zeus als Garant der Satzungen kult. verehrt und im Eid beschworen [2; 3. 197-199], manchmal mit anderen, auch weiblichen Gottheiten (Artemis, Ge). Sonst ist Hermes der Marktgott par excellence (bes. zu Erythrai [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, s. v. Zeus, RE X A, 256-258; RE Suppl. XV, 1978, 1051-1053 3 F.…

Eusebeia

(377 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[English version] (εὐσέβεια). Mit e. haben die Griechen Rel. charakteristisch anders in einen Begriff gefaßt als die Römer ihre religio oder die moderne Forsch. den “Glauben der Hellenen” oder die “Griech. Religion” [1]. E. blieb Teil des sozialen Wertesystems, in dem die Götter keinen exklusiven Ort hatten. Drei Bereiche lassen sich sachlich und teils auch zeitlich unterscheiden: 1. In der Polis umschreibt e. ein Zugehörigkeits- und Autoritätsverhältnis zu den eigenen Eltern, zur Polis und ihren Normen und zu den Göttern (Lys. 6. 33; Isokr. or. 7. 30; Pla…

Euphorbos

(114 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[English version] (Εὔφορβος). Held in der Ilias auf seiten der Troer, Sohn des Panthoos und der Phrontis [1]. Er tötet gemeinsam mit Hektor den Patroklos (Il. 16,806-815); Menelaos tötet ihn im Gegenzug (Il. 17,9-60) [2]. Seinen Schild bewahrte man im Heraion von Argos auf (Paus. 2,17,3). Pythagoras verstand sich als Inkarnation des E. (Herakl. Pont. fr. 89 Wehrli/Schule; Kall. fr. 191,59-63 Pfeiffer; Diog. Laert. 8,1,4; Ov. met. 15,160-163 u.a.) [3; 4]. Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen) Bibliography 1 P. v. d. Mühll, Krit. Hypomnema zur Ilias 1952, 255 2 L. Kahil, s.v. E., LIMC 3.1, 69 3…

Maleatas

(160 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[English version] (Μαλεάτας). Die Epiklese M. für Apollon leitet sich vom Ortsnamen Malea [1] ab, dem wegen seiner Stürme gefürchteten Kap im SO der Peloponnes (der Mani) (Hom. Od. 3,287 u.ö.). Poseidon besaß dort einen Kult (Eur. Cycl. 293; Paus. 3,23,2). Doch typischerweise trägt Apollon, nicht Poseidon, in der östl. Peloponnes diese Epiklese und, von dort ausstrahlend, etwa im Piräus (IG II2 4962); hier erhält M. eigene Voropfer zusätzlich zu Apollon vor Asklepios. Eine Verbindung mit Heilkult besteht auch in Trikka (Paus. 2,27,7), das schon bei Homer …

Maleos

(173 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
(Μάλεως, Μάλεος). Die spätant. Mythographie hat mehrere Personen des Namens gemischt [1]. [English version] [1] Fels bei Phaistos/Kreta Ein Fels, der den Hafen von Phaistos auf Kreta schützt, soll von einem M. dem Poseidon gestiftet worden sein (schol. Hom. Od. 3,296; Suda s.v. M.); die schon in der Odyssee gezogene Verbindung zum Kap Malea [1] läßt sich auch in dem kaiserzeitlichen Grabepigramm Anth. Pal. 7,275 erkennen. Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen) [English version] [2] myth. tyrrhen. Räuber Als Name eines der tyrrhenischen Räuber wird M. (oder Μαλεώτης/ Maleṓtēs) zum Vater …

Anthesteria

(477 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[English version] (Ἀνθεστήρια). Frühlingsfest, das überall gefeiert wird, wo Ionier siedeln (Thuk 2,15,4: “die ältesten Dionysien”; vor der Ionischen Wanderung). Es ist teils gleichzusetzen mit dem Ritual der Katagogia “Einholung (des Gottes vom Meer)” [1]. Mit dem ersten Tag des dreitägigen Festes (11.-13. Anthesterion), der Pithoigia (πιθ-οιγία “Faßöffnung”), werden die Weinfässer/Pithoi des Herbstes zu Genuß und Verkauf freigegeben. Das ländliche Dionysos-Heiligtum von Ikaria feiert die Ankunft des Gottes (Aiora [2]) und verbi…
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