Bulls and rams
Article , Content , Opuscula / 2021-10-21

All content of Opuscula 14 will be made available for free download in May 2022. Printed edition distributed by Eddy.se AB. Also available at Amazon.com, Adlibris, and Bokus. View volume at ERIH PLUS. Bulls and rams. The sacrifice to Erechtheus By Jenifer Neils (American School of Classical Studies at Athens, Greece) Abstract The earliest literary reference to animal sacrifice in Athens is the passage in Homer’s Iliad (2.550–551) that mentions Athenian youths propitiating their legendary king Erechtheus with bulls and rams. It is surprising that this passage has not been associated with the north frieze of the Parthenon, where twelve young men are leading four bovines and four sheep to sacrifice, in contrast with the ten cows on the south frieze which clearly represent the hecatomb for Athena Polias at the Panathenaia. While it is difficult to ascertain the sex of these eight animals, the horns and size of the sheep suggest that they are male. Given the prominence of the cult of the hero Erechtheus on the north side of the Acropolis, it is reasonable to identify these sacrificial animals as an offering to the pater patriae of the Athenians. Bibliographical information Jenifer Neils, ’Bulls and rams. The sacrifice to Erechtheus’, Opuscula….

Castration, cult and agriculture

Opuscula 7 (2014) is now available for purchase and free download at Bokorder.se. Also available at Amazon.com, Amazon.de, Bokus.com and Adlibris.com. Castration, cult and agriculture. Perspectives on Greek animal sacrifice By Gunnel Ekroth Abstract The castration of most male animals seems to have been the rule in ancient Greece when rearing cattle, sheep, goats, and pigs; only very few adult males are needed for breeding purposes and flocks of bulls, rams, billy-goats and boars are difficult to keep, since they are too aggressive. Castrated males yield more and fattier meat, and, in the case of sheep, more wool. Still, sacred laws and sacrificial calendars stipulate the sacrifice of uncastrated victims, and vase-paintings frequently represent bulls, rams and billy-goats in ritual contexts. This paper will discuss the role of uncastrated male animals in Greek cult in the Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic periods, both from a religious and an agricultural perspective. Of particular interest are the relations between the practical, economic reality and the theological perception of sacrifice. These issues will be explored using epigraphical, literary, iconographical and zooarchaeological evidence. Bibliographical information Gunnel Ekroth, ‘Cult, castration and agriculture. Perspectives on Greek animal sacrifice’, Opuscula. Annual of the Swedish Institutes at Athens and…

Encounters with Mycenaean figures and figurines

Now available for purchase at Amazon.com, Amazon.de, Bokus.com, Adlibris.com, and Bokorder.se Encounters with Mycenaean figures and figurines. Papers presented at a seminar at the Swedish Institute at Athens, 27–29 April 2001 By Ann-Louise Schallin & Petra Pakkanen (eds.) This volume presents fourteen articles which discuss Mycenaean figurines from various points of view. They focus on different aspects of the figurines, elaborating on their function, contextual characteristics, production, use-life, classification, topography, and history of scholarship. The articles are based on papers given at a workshop at the Swedish Institute at Athens in April 2001 entitled ‘Cultic Space and Mycenaean Figurines’. The idea of having a workshop arose from the fact that several of the participants were involved at the time with the documentation of various figurine types from the so-called Potter’s Workshop at Mastos in the Berbati Valley in the Argolid. The number and variety of the Mycenaean figurines from Mastos is impressive, particularly as the excavation had covered only a small area. The excavator, Å. Åkerström, proposed that the site had a cultic function in addition to its role as a production centre. In order to better understand the characteristics and identity of Mastos, scholars were invited to discuss the…