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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…

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…

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 …

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 …

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…

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…

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…

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 …

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…

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 …

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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 …

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…

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 …

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…

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 …

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…

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 …

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…

Aktorione

(230 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[English version] (Ἀκτορίωνε, Dual). Monströses Zwillingspaar (Hes. fr. 18 M-W τερατώδεις); es ist durch zwei Köpfe, vier Arme und Beine und einen zusammengewachsenen Körper unheimlich stark (Hes. fr. 17; 18). Nestor rühmt sich in der Ilias, er habe die A. Molione, Kteatos und Eurytos töten können, wenn Vater Poseidon ihnen nicht beigestanden hätte (Il. 11,750-752). Bei anderer Gelegenheit besiegen sie Nestor im Wagenrennen (Il. 23,638). Die Genealogie ist dreifach: Neben dem göttl. (Poseidon) ein…

Diktynna

(295 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[English version] (Δίκτυννα). Göttin der Fischer (Jagd) auf Kreta. Ihr Hauptheiligtum liegt am Steilhang der Halbinsel Tityros (Rhodopou) im Westen Kretas [1; 2], nach Hdt. 3,59 von Samiern (ca. 519 v.Chr.) gegründet. Weite Verbreitung (Plut. mor. 984a) des Kultes der D. und, mit ihr gleichgesetzt (Kall. h. 3, 189-205), der Britomartis außer in Westkreta auf Aigina als Aphaia (Paus. 2, 30,3), in Gythion und Sparta (Lakonien), Athen, Phokis, Massalia und Kommagene [3; 4]. Der Mythos erzählt (Kall.)…

Bendis

(498 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[English version] (Βενδῖς). Die thrak. Göttin B., im 6.Jh. (Hipponax fr. 127 W.) den Griechen bekannt geblieben (s. Herodian. 2, 761 L.; Liv. 38,41,1; nur noch antiquarisches Wissen? [1. 114]), wird in der Interpretatio Graeca verstanden als eine Artemis (Hdt. 4, 33; 5, 7; Palaiphat. 31; Hesych.), als Hekate (Plut. de def. or. 13, 416e, durch falsche Etym.; Hesych. s.v. Ἀδμήτου κόρη) oder Persephone (Orph. fr. 200 OF; vgl. Texte in PCG 4, p. 165; vgl. 159). Auch in der Ikonographie ist die Gleichsetzung mit Artemis als jagender…

Buphonia

(246 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[English version] (βουφόνια). An den athenischen Dipolieia wird derjenige Ochse geopfert, der zuerst das Getreideopfer frißt, sich also an der Gabe für Gott vergreift (Porphyr. abst. 2,28-30, wohl auf Theophrast zurückgehend [5]; Paus 1,24,4). Der Schlächter - ein in der Familie des Thaulon erbliches Amt [3. 161] - tötet dafür das Tier und flieht dann. Im Mythos befiehlt das delph. Orakel, den flüchtigen Totschläger, den Bauern Sopatros, zurückzuholen und das Töten des Ochsen zu wiederholen. In ei…

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…

Atheismus

(443 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[English version] Der moderne A. beruft sich als Autorität seiner Ablehnung der (christl.) Religion auf ant. Vorbilder, kreiert sogar Märtyrer. Während der A. in der Moderne sich aber gegen Monotheismus und daraus abgeleitete Institutionen wendet - der Begriff A. kommt erst im 16.Jh. auf -, sind die ant. Begriffe, darunter ἄθεος ( átheos, “gott-los”), Teil eines polytheistischen Systems von lokalen Götter-Personen, das sich in kultischen Formen realisiert und nicht ein verbalisiertes, begriffliches Credo voraussetzt. Daher gilt es für den ant. A.…

Aigisthos

(148 words)

Author(s): Auffarth, Christoph (Tübingen)
[English version] (Αἴγισθος). Vor-griech. Name [1]; ep. Neubildung, kurz für αἰγι-σθένης [2]. In der Odyssee Sohn des Thyestes (nur Od. 4,518); usurpiert Thron und Frau des Agamemnon. Er ermordet (Od. 3,266-71) den Sieger von Troia bei dessen Heimkehr. Danach herrscht er 7 Jahre als König in Mykenai, bis Orestes Rache für den Vater übt. A. steht als negatives (der Mörder als König ὑπὲρ μόρον Od. 1,29-43; ἀμύμων, “gutaussehend” statt “untadelig” [3; 4]) und warnendes Beispiel gegen Odysseus' Heimke…

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…

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.…

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

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…

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’ […

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…

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.

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…

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…

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 …

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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 …

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]…

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; …
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