October 31- Euripides, Bacchae

October 31- Euripides, Bacchae - October 31, 2007...

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October 31, 2007 Euripides, Bacchae Myth and Religion Myth was a way to think about the gods separate from actual cult practices But myth and cult overlapped and interacted in a number of different ways 1) Myths were often present, visually or orally, at the performance of cult practices - Visually: for exa m ple, the depictions of the cont est of Athen a a nd Poseidon and of the birth of Athen a on the pedim ents of the Parthenon: background to Panathen aic sacrif at outdoor altar on the Acropolis - Orally: myths could b e retold in the context of hy m ns p erform ed at festivals 2) Myths provided Greek religion with a Panhellenic dim ension lacking in the sphere of actual cults, which were always local - Exam ple: the m yth of De m et er and Persephon e was Panhellenic; the a uthor of the Homeric Hymn to Demeter associates it with the local cult at Eleusis, giving that cult a Panhellenic association - Myth promot ed the idea that all Greeks, despite their local cults in honor of specific g (e.g., Athena Polias), actually worshipped the sa m e gods 3) Myths could provide an explanation, an a etiology, of a p articular cult practice - Exam ple: story of Hippolytus a nd the ritual offering of h air m a d e by brides-to-be in Trozen (Euripides, Hippolytus 1423-30) In many cases, the myth seems to have been a secondary development, created in order to explain the ritual In some cases, we can observe a clear correlation (in theme, concerns and structure)
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This note was uploaded on 05/01/2008 for the course CLAS 131 taught by Professor James during the Fall '07 term at UNC.

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October 31- Euripides, Bacchae - October 31, 2007...

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