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September 17 - Ancient Greek Religious Personnel Priests...

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September 17, 2007 Ancient Greek Religious Personnel: Priests, Priestesses and Oracles Preliminary Considerations o Prominence of Athens in evidence Cultural, political dominance in classical period How far can we generalize based on Athens? Ex: gender roles o Ancient Greek religious personnel generally Non-professional, but not amateur No “divinity school” Learn by doing Part-time, often at least partly self-financed o Social status and cult officials: religious duties confer prestige Office allows holder to make public display (social propriety) Limits on participation Private funding (most offices require some personal expense) Time demands (affects farmers, sailors, etc.) o Gender and participation in cult Priestesshoods offer (limited) female participation in public life Assertion of male control Ex: Pythia at Delphi o Breakdown: Officials in charge of festivals Usually limited-term appointments Officials in charge of cults and rituals Usually long-term appointment (sometimes lifetime) Festivals o Expenses Sacrificial animals and implements Mixture of private and public funding Sacred garments
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