Mystic Cults in Magna Graecia

Mystic Cults in Magna Graecia


By (author) Giovanni Casadio, Edited by Patricia A. Johnston

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  • Publisher: University of Texas Press
  • Format: Paperback | 394 pages
  • Dimensions: 150mm x 229mm x 25mm | 544g
  • Publication date: 1 May 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Austin, TX
  • ISBN 10: 0292723547
  • ISBN 13: 9780292723542
  • Illustrations note: 1, black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 1,163,163

Product description

In Vergil's Aeneid, the poet implies that those who have been initiated into mystery cults enjoy a blessed situation both in life and after death. This collection of essays brings new insight to the study of mystic cults in the ancient world, particularly those that flourished in Magna Graecia (essentially the area of present-day Southern Italy and Sicily). Implementing a variety of methodologies, the contributors to Mystic Cults in Magna Graecia examine an array of features associated with such "mystery religions" that were concerned with individual salvation through initiation and hidden knowledge rather than civic cults directed toward Olympian deities usually associated with Greek religion. Contributors present contemporary theories of ancient religion, field reports from recent archaeological work, and other frameworks for exploring mystic cults in general and individual deities specifically, with observations about cultural interactions throughout. Topics include Dionysos and Orpheus, the Goddess Cults, Isis in Italy, and Roman Mithras, explored by an international array of scholars including Giulia Sfameni Gasparro ("Aspects of the Cult of Demeter in Magna Graecia") and Alberto Bernabe ("Imago Inferorum Orphica"). The resulting volume illuminates this often misunderstood range of religious phenomena.

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Review quote

"This book represents the most current state of knowledge about cults in Magna Graecia and will set standards for subsequent discussions of the topic."oLarry J. Alderink, Professor Emeritus of Comparative Religion, Concordia College, Moorhead, Minnesota

Table of contents

Illustrations; Abbreviations; 1. Introduction (Giovanni Casadio and Patricia A. Johnston); I. Dionysus and Orpheus; 2. Dionysus in Campania: Cumae (Giovanni Casadio); 3. The Meaning of bavkco" and bakceuvein in Orphism (Ana Jimenez San Cristobal); 4. New Contributions of Dionysiac Iconography to the History of Religions in Greece and Italy (Cornelia Isler-Kerenyi); 5. Who Are You? Mythic Narrative and Identity in the "Orphic" Gold Tablets (Radcliffe G. Edmonds); 6. Imago Inferorum Orphica (Alberto Bernabe); 7. Putting Your Mouth Where Your Money Is: Eumolpus' Will, Pasta e Fagioli, and the Fate of the Soul in South Italian Thought from Pythagoras to Ennius (R. Drew Griffith); II. Demeter and Isis; 8. Aspects of the Cult of Demeter in Magna Graecia: The "Case" of San Nicola di Albanella (Giulia Sfameni Gasparro); 9. Landscape Synchesis: A Demeter Temple in Latium (Kathryn M. Lucchese); 10. The Eleusinian Mysteries and Vergil's "Appearance-of-a-Terrifying-Female-Apparition-in-the-Underworld" Motif in Aeneid 6 (Raymond J. Clark); 11. Women and Nymphs at the Grotta Caruso (Bonnie MacLachlan); 12. "Great Royal Spouse Who Protects Her Brother Osiris": Isis in the Isaeum at Pompeii (Frederick Brenk); 13. Aegyptiaca from Cumae: New Evidence for Isis Cult in Campania: Site and Materials (Paolo Caputo); 14. The Mystery Cults and Vergil's Georgics (Patricia A. Johnston); III. Mithras; 15. The Amor and Psyche Relief in the Mithraeum of Capua Vetere: An Exceptional Case of Graeco-Roman Syncretism or an Ordinary Instance of Human Cognition? (Luther H. Martin); 16. The Mythraic Body: The Example of the Capua Mithraeum (Richard Gordon); 17. Why the Shoulder? A Study of the Placement of the Wound in the Mithraic Tauroctony (Glenn Palmer); Bibliography; Index