Castration, cult and agriculture

Opuscula 7 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 Rome…

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…

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