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|Libation of Artemis and Apollo at the omphalos. |
Master of Shuvalov (?), ca. 440 BC.
Ⓒ Wikipedia user Shakko 2009
I had the immense pleasure to read the book by Kimberley Christine Patton, entitled Religion of the Gods; Ritual, Paradox, and Reflexivity published back in 2009 (OUP). The book examines the numerous iconographic depictions of Gods and Goddesses performing a libation or acting towards performing a sacrifice. One example is the attached picture: a libation of both Artemis and Apollo at the omphalos. In this red-figure lekythos, the poured liquid is visible from the Apollo’s phiale. It is logical that looking closely at those pictorial evidences makes you wonder and immediately questions arise. One of the questions is the following: what these depictions mean?
|Lekythos with Winged Victory |
with Incense Holder at
Metropolitan Art Museum.
2009 © Sharon Mollerus.
I had the pleasure to read through the Rangar Cline’s book entitled Ancient Angels: Conceptualizing Angeloi in the Roman Empire (2011) which discusses in great detail the concept of angelos (angel) in non-Abrahamic religions (namely Judaism, Christianity and Islam) in the Roman era. It is an incredibly interesting theme of scholarly debate from the early 20th century. It is also a contemporary issue of discussion and debate for modern Hellenic polytheists: what was the nature of angels in ancient Greek religion, how it was involved and presented in the Late Greco-Roman religion, and how it could be differentiated from its Christian understanding? Cline gives immensely beautiful answers with the use of literary, inscriptional, and archaeological evidences. Cline focuses to the study of the Greco-Roman understanding of angels and how they have been worshiped. For Cline, the Christian authorities reacted to this unorthodox characteristic of Roman religion. The author does not “attempt to trace religious influence in one direction or another” (p.xvii), and seek to bring a holistic view of the popular beliefs about angels in Greco-Roman religion, equally providing the prevalent assumptions about and veneration of them in the Late Antiquity, Roman Empire.