Incorporating recent archaeological discoveries and scholarly perspectives, Jennifer Larson explores the variety of cults celebrated by the Greeks, how these cults differed geographically, and how each deity was conceptualized in local cult titles and rituals. This volume will serve as a companion to the many introductions to Greek mythology, showing a side of the Greek gods to which most students are rarely exposed. For example, the worship of Zeus Meilichios in the form of a snake strongly contrasts with the Homeric image of the Olympian god. Similarly, some literary portraits of Aphrodite indicate that she was sometimes worshiped as an armed (or even a bearded) goddess. Surveying ancient Greek religion through the cults of its gods and goddesses, heroes and heroines, Ancient Greek Cults: A Guide is detailed enough to be used as a quick reference tool or text, yet provides a readable account focusing on the oldest, most widespread, and most interesting religious practices of the ancient Greek world in the Archaic and Classical periods. Including an introductory chapter on sources and methods, and suggestions for further reading, this book will allow readers to gain a fresh perspective on Greek religion.
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