September 14 - September 14, 2007 Ancient Greek Rituals...

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September 14, 2007 Ancient Greek Rituals Concepts o Definition of ritual – practice associated with culturally significant events Prayer, sacrifice, wedding, funeral o Purpose: organize space, time, and social relations o Ritual vs. dogma: Greek religion meant action rather than study; emphasis on tradition, absence of sacred texts o Pervasiveness: rituals practiced by all member of society; accompany most daily activities o Diversity: variation Within communities – age, gender, social status Among communities – regional, Panhellenic Sacrifice o Variety of forms Bloodless: burnt, poured Burnt offerings: foodstuffs, the dead o Bread, incense, harvest, “first fruits” Liquid offerings (libations, spondai ): edible liquid poured on the ground o Wine, honey, water, milk, oil (usually olive) o Daily occasions (meals, journeys): sense of divine presence (inspires fear in others for protection) o Symposium – drinking party o Offerings poured out to dead –
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September 14 - September 14, 2007 Ancient Greek Rituals...

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