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Worshipping Hades: Myth and Cult in Elis and Triphylia

Worshipping Hades: Myth and Cult in Elis and Triphylia Abstract:Why offer cult to Hades? The cult of Hades at Elis (Pausanias 6.25.2) makes an interesting starting point for an exploration of Hades and his worshippers: how they saw their god, and what he and they expected of each other. Although Pausanias describes the Eleans as the only people to worship Hades, he nevertheless mentions statues and altars to the god elsewhere. At Elis, as in other cults of Hades hidden behind euphemistic names such as ‘Klymenos’ or ‘Zeus Chthonios’, the deadly nature of the god is to the fore, as opposed to the perception elsewhere of Hades-Plouton as a giver of fertility, a god who carries a cornucopia and is connected with Demeter and Kore. Yet these are very much two sides of the same coin: Hades’ wealth lies not only in fertility but also in lament. The restrictive form of worship at Elis is also in contrast to Hades’ vulnerability in the myth associated with this cult, in which he is wounded by Herakles’ arrows. This paper will use Pausanias’ description as a starting point for a discussion of the worshippers’ perception of Hades at Elis and elsewhere, taking into account the nature of our sources, as well as regional variation in the god’s cult, iconography, and myth. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Archiv für Religionsgeschichte de Gruyter

Worshipping Hades: Myth and Cult in Elis and Triphylia

Archiv für Religionsgeschichte , Volume 20 (1): 17 – Mar 28, 2018

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Publisher
de Gruyter
Copyright
© 2018 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston
ISSN
1868-8888
eISSN
1868-8888
DOI
10.1515/arege-2018-0013
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract:Why offer cult to Hades? The cult of Hades at Elis (Pausanias 6.25.2) makes an interesting starting point for an exploration of Hades and his worshippers: how they saw their god, and what he and they expected of each other. Although Pausanias describes the Eleans as the only people to worship Hades, he nevertheless mentions statues and altars to the god elsewhere. At Elis, as in other cults of Hades hidden behind euphemistic names such as ‘Klymenos’ or ‘Zeus Chthonios’, the deadly nature of the god is to the fore, as opposed to the perception elsewhere of Hades-Plouton as a giver of fertility, a god who carries a cornucopia and is connected with Demeter and Kore. Yet these are very much two sides of the same coin: Hades’ wealth lies not only in fertility but also in lament. The restrictive form of worship at Elis is also in contrast to Hades’ vulnerability in the myth associated with this cult, in which he is wounded by Herakles’ arrows. This paper will use Pausanias’ description as a starting point for a discussion of the worshippers’ perception of Hades at Elis and elsewhere, taking into account the nature of our sources, as well as regional variation in the god’s cult, iconography, and myth.

Journal

Archiv für Religionsgeschichtede Gruyter

Published: Mar 28, 2018

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