Karpophoroi deities and the Attic cult of Ge. Notes on IG II2 4758
By Jenny Wallensten
Karpophoros, fruit-bearing, is an epithet easily considered as “literary”, i.e., a poetic name with little or no relation to cult. The epigraphic sources, however, clearly show us that gods thus named were offered divine worship. The epithet is found in connection with several deities. Goddesses of agriculture, such as Demeter, and Ge, the Earth, naturally carry this name, but so do Zeus, Dionysos and a goddess known as “The Aiolian”, who was sometimes associated with Agrippina. This paper surveys deities known as karpophoroi and examines what their cult entailed. Its focus is, however, on a brief Acropolis inscription, IG II2 4758, where Ge is honoured as Karpophoros, in accordance with an oracle. The case study provides insights into the Attic cult of Ge, the epithet Karpophoros, as well as the use and function of epithets within Greek dedicatory language.
Jenny Wallensten, ‘Karpophoroi deities and the Attic cult of Ge. Notes on IG II2 4758’, Opuscula. Annual of the Swedish Institutes at Athens and Rome (OpAthRom) 7, Stockholm 2014, 193–203. ISSN: 2000-0898. ISBN: 978-91-977798-6-9. Softcover, 257 pages. http://doi.org/10.30549/opathrom-07-11