The Darkness in the Light

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Originally posted on The Allergic Pagan:

I recently came across this review of Kimberley Christine Patton’s book, Religion of the Gods; Ritual, Paradox, and Reflexivity (2009).  In her book, Patton takes up the phenomenon of Classical depictions of the gods pouring libations and participating in sacrifices.

Zeus pours a libation .. to whom?

Apollo pouring libation

Apollo pouring libation

The cultic action of the gods which is depicted most frequently is libations, but it is not limited to libations.  There are images of deities sprinkling incense on altars, and even suggestions of gods participating in animal sacrifice.

Aphrodite sprinkling incense on altar

And in one curious instance, Apollo is depicted purifying himself in a lustral basin.

Often these depictions of the gods making offerings appear on vases opposite depictions of mortals making offerings:

“the gods’ worship seems to both parallel and respond to human cultic observance. This is why mortal libation scenes appear on the opposite side of…

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July 14, 2012 - Posted by | thefirstdark

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