By Renate Schlesier
Within smooth frameworks of data and illustration, Dionysos usually seems to be bizarre for old tradition, an exception in the context of historic polytheism, or maybe an example of a distinction that anticipates modernism. How can fresh learn give a contribution to a extra specific knowing of the various changes of the traditional god, from Greek antiquity to the Roman Empire? during this quantity, that is the results of a world convention held in March 2009 on the Pergamon Museum Berlin, students from all branches of classical experiences, together with heritage of scholarship, examine this question. accordingly, this ends up in a brand new glance on vase work, sanctuaries, rituals and religious-political associations like theatre, and contains new readings of the texts of historic poets, historians and philosophers, in addition to of papyri and inscriptions. it's the variety of resources or equipment and the problem of former perspectives that's the power of this quantity, delivering a finished, leading edge and richly faceted account of the several god in an remarkable way."
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Additional info for A Different God? Dionysos and Ancient Polytheism
In accordance with each system the god will show a different face. Sometimes literally. ‘Our Demeter is black’ say the Arcadians, who worship a chthonian black Demeter who is the spouse of Poseidon. They cannot read – or listen to – the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, the Olympian goddess who has a daughter by Zeus, without adjusting both the goddess’s colour and her family relationship to this more radiant milieu.
Baynes (1955) 255: “And of course the Byzantines conceived of the Virgin as Heis Dionysos! – One Dionysos? A Polytheistic Perspective 25 the resident anthropologist (some decades ago Greek families in isolated villages tended to consist of father and mother, the children, the grandparents and the resident anthropologist) whether the Hagios Georgios of their village was the same as the St. Georges of other places, the locals declared: “The Hagios Georgios we have here is not the same Saint who comes from Cappadocia (who is the great dragon slayer).
As long as we (like the Greeks) think only in one register, we may find a relatively orderly and neat little cosmos. As soon as we try to cross the borders between different registers, the threat of inconsistency, confusion, and conflict looms large. My suggestion is to follow the Greeks in not doing that, or if you must, for instance when you suffer from the regrettable ambition to write a textbook, consistently to avoid generalizing statements (which would, as I well realize, make it a particularly 42 Which is not the same as fully appreciating or even so much as understanding the text.