Minoan Religion: Ritual, Image, and Symbol

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The book explores the unusual iconographical formula of Archaic Greek art that naked and seductive female goddesses are juxtaposed to fully armed warriors. What is the function of this juxtaposition? The main argument of the book is that male armament and female sexuality are two alternative forms of power.

They may be combined to create an inseparable unified force or may be opposed and combat each other. Both mythical and iconographical material is explored. Parallels from Near Eastern art and myth are used to demonstrate the pattern in a broad East Mediterranean perspective. This book is an attempt to bring together diverse types of evidence about Minoan religion.

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Unlike the famous work by M. Nilsson, Minoan and Mycenaean Religion which was based on archaeological and iconographical typology, this work attempts to organize the evidence around social questions such as priesthood. Also, it asks the question of how the sanctua. Stockholm This work contains an analysis of archaeological and visual evidence pertaining to Minoan sacrifice.

The questions addressed are: who took part in the sacrifice? Where did the sacrifice take place? What animals were sacrificed?

The most important aspect is the attempt to decipher obscure ideograms of Minoan seals which are viewed here as a system of signs. The Minoan paintings from Thera are discussed in their archaeological context. It is argued that they decorated rooms in which rituals took place and therefore all of them have a relationship with religious ideology. This book presents the first attempt to find a common iconographical program and ideology in all the murals of Thera. Email: nannom uic. In English The Iliad Classics Athens: Militos Press, London The book explores the unusual iconographical formula of Archaic Greek art that naked and seductive female goddesses are juxtaposed to fully armed warriors.


Marinatos, Nanno Ourania | Classics and Mediterranean Studies | University of Illinois at Chicago

Greek Sanctuaries with R. London A collection of essays written by both historians of religion and archaeologists. Stockholm This work contains an analysis of archaeological and visual evidence pertaining to Minoan sacrifice. Forged Rings and Paradigms. There are several distinguishable goddess identities - a goddess associated with animals, sometimes called the Mistress of the Animals , a snake goddess who typically has snakes wrapped around her arms, a household goddess, and others.

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Scholars believe that these identities eventually found their way into the Greek pantheon as Hera, Artemis and other female gods. This detail from the Sarcophagus of Ayia Triada show a ritual bull sacrifice. Further Reading. The society was matrilineal , that is they traced their descent through the female line, unlike the patrilineal societies which dominated bronze age Europe. Surprisingly for a bronze age urban culture, women retained their power in religion and in society.

The Minoan Civilization: Excellent Presentation

The priestesses were female, and Minoan religion was matriarchal with an all-powerful mother goddess. This is true of many very ancient religions. With the advent of urbanization around the world matriarchal religions were gradually replaced by patriarchal ones, just as the Greek patriarchal religion the pantheon led by Zeus eventually replaced the Minoan matriarchal religon. The Minoans did not bring about this change, however. I would like to do that again because I feel that there is a connection with the decorative system of the Geometric period.

The octopus is known for its complex ever-changing quality[ 1] : it will change its color to look like the soil underneath it.

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It tears its arms off when someone plucks it from its bed and the stones come up along with it. On the mainland the octopus appeared on Late Helladic, Mycenaean, pottery.

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  • The Dream Thieves (The Raven Cycle, Book 2).
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  • In a shaft grave at Mycenae gold foil ornaments were found in the shape of shrines, naked goddesses, octopuses, butterflies, rosettes: symbolic ornaments that were to be stitched onto ritual costumes. Predominantly they were decorated with octopuses, squids, fish, argonauts, even ships.

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    A beautiful example not shown is the one from Kavrochori, which is near modern Heraklion. The painted decoration mixes conceptual motifs that relate to the sea octopuses, squids, fish, and dolphins with creatures from marshes and rivers reeds, palms, papyri, ducks : these last motifs are possibly inspired by Egyptian or Near Eastern prototypes in which rivers equal fertility.

    Another example is a larnax that is maintained at the Archaeological Museum of Rethymnon, Crete. The paintings on this coffer show papyrus flowers on the left panel and on the lid, and an octopus on the right. Not shown, but on some of the larnakes , fish are painted on the interior surfaces. The fish painted on the interior surfaces of the larnakes may indicate the sea, maybe as a symbol for the beyond.