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Heracles

(515 words)

Author(s): Haase, Mareile
[German Version] Heracles, Lat. Hercules, a demigod (divine-human; son-god), the son of a mortal mother (Alcmene) and of two fathers, the god Zeus and the mortal man Amphitryon. Heracles emerges victorious from a series of struggles for the purification of the earth and the salvation of the human race (canonically known as the “Twelve Labors,” Gk ἄθλοι/ áthloi, Lat. labores). His apotheosis is interpreted as the reward for his exploits. The threshold between human and divine existence is marked by suffering (madness, immolation). The ambivalence of divi…

Catabasis

(159 words)

Author(s): Haase, Mareile
[German Version] – Greek κατάβασις (εἰς ῾Αιδου)/ katábasis ( eís Háidou), Lat. descensus/descensio ( ad inferos), descent (to the underworld; cf. also Descent into hell) – is the classical term for elements of certain myths, especially involving Odysseus (not explained in Hom Od. 11, ¶ but cf. 23.252: κατέβην/ katébēn) and Aeneas (Verg. Aen. 6; Hereafter, Concepts of the), as well as Orpheus, Heracles, and Theseus. It is also an element of some divination rituals (oracle of Trophonius: Pausanias 9.39). The reference to pictorial repr…

Serapis

(316 words)

Author(s): Haase, Mareile
[German Version] (Gk Σέραπις, also Σάραπις, Sárapis). By ancient tradition, the image of the god Serapis was brought to Alexandria in response to a command given in a dream. The date of the transfer (under Ptolemy I, II, ¶ or III; Ptolemaic dynasty) and the image’s original location (Sinope, Seleucia, or Memphis) were already debated in ancient religious historiography (e.g. Tacitus Historiae IV 83f.). The name Serapis comes from Memphite local religion: it is derived from the Egyptian name for the Osirified form of the Memphite Apis bull ( wsyr-ḥp; attested since Ramses II), to whi…

Hereafter, Concepts of the

(5,151 words)

Author(s): Hutter, Manfred | Janowski, Bernd | Necker, Gerold | Haase, Mareile | Rosenau, Hartmut | Et al.
[German Version] I. Religious Studies – II. History of Religions – III. Philosophy of Religion – IV. Art History I. Religious Studies All cultures have concepts of a hereafter or beyond (“the next world”), although they are extremely diverse. They involve a realm of existence different from the visible earthly world but nevertheless thought of as real. Concepts of the hereafter are part of cosmology and therefore are related to the real world: the hereafter may be localized above or below the earth, in inaccessib…

Etruscan/Italic Religions

(1,117 words)

Author(s): Haase, Mareile
[German Version] I. Etruscan Religions – II. “Italic Religions” I. Etruscan Religions 1. The culture of the Etruscans (self-designation: rasna, “populus”; Gr Tyrrhenoí, Tyrsenoí; Ital. Tursko-; Lat. Tusci, Etrusci) can be identified archaeologically c. 900–100 bce in central Italy between the Arno, the Tiber and the Tyrrhenian Sea (Tuscany), but from the perspective of the history of religions local differentiations are possible only with caution. 2. Sources on cultic institutions – archeological evidence: constitutive components…