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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Diodorus Siculus , the only literary source Pingiatoglou cites as explicitly
attributing a healing function to the goddess , actually says that Eileithyia has “
care of women who suffer while giving birth ” ( θεραπείας των εν τω τίκτειν
20 = Paion FGTH 757 F 2 ) , may have performed a similar function . There has
been no scholarly agreement on the function or meaning of this strange rite.49
But the etiological myth supplied by our sole source for the rite suggests that it ...
A Paros breast relief dedicated to the Nymphs probably ought likewise to be
explained as a function of the goddesses ' protection of new mothers and not as
evidence of a healing function : see note 15 below ; pace Forsén and Sironen
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Sources and Methodology
THE SCANDAL OF WOMENS RITUAL
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