Finding Persephone: Women's Rituals in the Ancient Mediterranean
Drawing upon the latest research in gender studies, history of religion, feminism, ritual theory, performance, anthropology, archaeology, and art history, Finding Persephone investigates the ways in which the religious lives and ritual practices of women in Greek and Roman antiquity helped shape their social and civic identity. Barred from participating in many public arenas, women asserted their presence by performing rituals at festivals and presiding over rites associated with life passages and healing. The essays in this lively and timely volume reveal the central place of women in the religious and ritual practices of the societies of the ancient Mediterranean. Readers interested in religion, women's studies, and classical antiquity will find a unique exploration of the nature and character of women's autonomy within the religious sphere and a full account of women's agency in the public domain.
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Originating in the women - only context of the Thesmophoria , women's worship
of Demeter was transformed into a new “ religious formation , ” as she puts it , that
embraced men and women in the context of the Eleusinian Mysteries .
Perhaps fueling the notion of woman's ritual as a context for scandal , accounts of
women's behavior at the Thesmophoria and other festivals of Demeter include
incitements to adultery , obscene raillery , and other forms of ( at least symbolic )
2.11 ) , but lack the context that the literary depictions offer . 44. Sure enough , we
later hear Cadmus urge Pentheus : “ Just go along with the convenient lie (
katapseudou kalôs ) that he is the son of Semele , so she will appear to have
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Sources and Methodology
THE SCANDAL OF WOMENS RITUAL
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