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.

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.

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 the vases. As the gods pour, so do mortals. As mortals pour, so do the…

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