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Apuleius von Madaura

(240 words)

Author(s): Egelhaaf-Gaiser, Ulrike
[German Version] (c. 125 ce – c. 180 ce, Africa) was a Platonist and orator. He was reared in Carthage, studied in Athens, after which he traveled in the East where he was initiated in several mystery cults. He practiced law in Rome whence he returned to Africa. After he married the wealthy widow Aemilia Pudentilla, her relatives accused him of sorcery in 158 ce, but he was acquitted. Apuleius delivered prize declamations in various cities, including Carthage, where he was also imperial priest and was honored with a public statue. Works: (1) Metamorphoses, an (allegorical) novel …


(829 words)

Author(s): Egelhaaf-Gaiser, Ulrike
[German Version] Olympia, sanctuary of Zeus in the region of Elis, at the foot of Mount Kronos, near where the Alpheus and Cladeus meet, in the territory controlled by Pisa. After c. 1000 bce, Pelops, the eponym of the Peloponnesus, was worshiped on the site of a prehistoric tumulus (2300–2100 bce; Kyrieleis). Around 700 bce, the earliest stadium and hippodrome were built 120 m to the east. The sanctuary was expanded by diverting the Cladeus westward, and access from the foot of Kronos was shifted southwards. Near the Pelopion stood ancient cultic …


(646 words)

Author(s): Egelhaaf-Gaiser, Ulrike
[German Version] is a sanctuary of Apollo with an oracle in Ionia, approx. 15 km northwest of Ephesus and 2 km from the harbor Notion in the Hales river valley (for the location see Greece, map); it belonged to the municipality of Colophon (12 km to the north, the site of coins bearing Apollo's image from the 6th cent. bce). The cultic site first mentioned in the Homeric hymn to Apollo (v. 40) arose with the Greek settlement in the 10th/9th centuries bce; the oracle, supposedly founded in antiquity by Manto or his son Mopsos (Pausanias 7.3.1f.; Strab. 14.1.27), …


(618 words)

Author(s): Egelhaaf-Gaiser, Ulrike
[German Version] also known as Branchidai, was a sanctuary of Apollo with spring oracle in Asia Minor and was built on a plateau overlooking the Gulf of Iasos in the Carian-Ionian border region. Pausanias (7.2.6) relates that it was founded in pre-Greek times on the site of the hieros gamos of Leto and Zeus, where Apollo was conceived (SIG 590.8–10). Apollo granted the shepherd Branchos, the eponymous ancestor of the priestly family of the Branchides, the gift of divination. Around 700 bce, an enclosed cultic precinct arose with brick structures and a…

Ara Pacis Augustae

(361 words)

Author(s): Egelhaaf-Gaiser, Ulrike
[German Version] The Ara Pacis (Altar of Augustan Peace) was voted by the senate on Jul 4, 13 bce, on the occasion of Augustus's victorious return from the west; it was consecrated on Campus Martius in Rome on Jan 30, 9 bce, the same year as the giant sundial constructed in conjunction with it: on Augustus's birthday, the shadow of the gnomon pointed to the front of the altar. Fragments were first discovered in 1568 near the Via Flaminia; excavations to…


(442 words)

Author(s): Egelhaaf-Gaiser, Ulrike
[German Version] was a site and district in Attica with the mystery sanctuary of Demeter. On its acropolis traces of an Early Bronze Age settlement, a Mycenean domed grave, and a palace have been found. Originally ¶ an independent kingdom rivaling Athens, Eleusis was under its overlordship from the 7th century. The Great Mysteries in Eleusis were, alongside the Great Panathenea, the most important festivals of the Athenian state, although the priestly offices …


(402 words)

Author(s): Egelhaaf-Gaiser, Ulrike
[German Version] a city in the Argolis on the southern coast of the Saronic Gulf with a sanctuary to Asclepius. The city is first mentioned in Homer's Iliad 2.561; it ¶ was a member of the amphictyony (cultic alliance) of the Poseidon sanctuary of Kalauria (Poros) and fought on the side of Sparta in the wars of the 5th/4th centuries bce. The city administered the sanctuary of Asclepius, located about nine kilometers to the southwest. Archaeological finds on Mount Kynortion attest to the cult of the hero Maleatas (7th cent. bce), who was later assimilated by Ap…


(632 words)

Author(s): Egelhaaf-Gaiser, Ulrike
[German Version] an island (3.5 km2) between Myconos and Rheneia, was considered by reason of its sanctuary of Apollo the center of the Cyclades and a holy island. On Mount Kynthos (113 m) there was an early Cycladic settlement in the 3rd millennium bce, in the center of the later ritual site a late Mycenean settlement (1400–1200), and the cult of a female deity, later Artemis. With the settlement of Ionic Greeks around 1000 bce, she became associated with Apollo and Leto in a triad of gods, in which Apollo soon assumed priority. According to Hom. Hym. 3.45ff., Delos was the birth place of…


(545 words)

Author(s): Egelhaaf-Gaiser, Ulrike
[German Version] was a Phocian city, famed for its oracle sanctuary of Apollo. The ritual site on the southern slope of Mount Parnassus, approx. 500 m above the Pleistos Valley, towers above the vertical cliffs of Phaedriades with the Castalian Spring. There was a Mycenean settlement with three grave chambers and traces of a cult below the Apollo temple and in the Marmaria area. The veneration of Apollo, however, is only assured from the 8th century bce at the flourishing sanctuary and a continuity of the cult since Mycenean times is not demo…


(1,534 words)

Author(s): Vollmer, Ulrich | Hutter, Manfred | Wandrey, Irina | Egelhaaf-Gaiser, Ulrike
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. History of Religion I. Religious Studies The term “oracle,” derived from the Latin noun oraculum, denotes, (1) in close connection with the original meaning of the word, the oracle site, i.e. the place at which a divine statement ( orare, “to speak”) was communicated to a person (see II, 3 below); (2) also common in ancient usage, the oracular statement itself; (3) the oracle as an institution; (4) in individual cases also a specific person involved in issuing the oracle (e.g. the medium of Nechun…

Palatine Hill

(275 words)

Author(s): Egelhaaf-Gaiser, Ulrike
[German Version] ( Palatium; aedes Apollinis et Matris Magnae), one of the seven hills of Rome, located centrally between the Forum and the Tiber; site of several elements of the Romulus myth (suckling of the twins, auspices, founding of the city). The series of venerable cultic sites commemorating the early history of Rome ( lupercal, casa Romuli, Roma quadrata, scalae Caci) was expanded in 191 bce to include the temple of the Mater Magna , whom Virgil ( Aen. 6.784–787) makes the tutelary deity of Aeneas. The ludi Megalenses were held in her honor in the area before the temple and…