Η παρουσία και λατρεία της Αθηνάς στο Ασκληπιείο και στην πόλη της Επιδαύρου
The study focuses on the cult of the goddess Athena and its importance within the local religious context of Epidauros (ancient city and Asklepieion) on the occasion of the publication of two hitherto unknown statuettes of the goddess, of late Classical and late imperial date respectively. The cult of Athena in Epidauros, although old, remained of secondary importance in relation to that of Asklepios. In the city of Epidauros the goddess was worshipped with the epithet Kissaia, while the close relationship the city maintained with Athens during the early Archaic period is reflected in the worship of two local olive-tree deities, Damia and Auxesia, local versions of the Eleusinian Deities. In the 4th c. BC, the conscious choice of shaping the cult of Asklepios in an exportable, panhellenic cultural product leads to the inclusion in the ritual of bloodless sacrifice preceding incubation of new minor deities, including Athena (probably under Athenian influence). During the Hellenistic and Imperial periods Athena’s position in the Epidaurian pantheon remains secondary, while Attic influence, artistic and religious, gradually but consistently increases. This tendency will lead especially during the 3rd and 4th c. A.D. to the cult of Asklepios being closely connected to that of the Eleusinian Deities, with the latter’s Archaic Epidaurian version serving as the intermediary link.
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ISSN: 2623-3428 (digital), 2623-3436 (print)
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