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Anaphe, Apollo Aiglêtês and the origin of Asclepius

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Chapter Summary

This chapter focuses on the annual festival of Apollo Aiglêtês. This festival is characterised as ?abnormal' because it takes place during the night, contains the sacrifice of water and includes sexual banter between the sexes. The comparison with Lemnos also suggests that the festival contained characteristics of a New Year festival, which would well fit Apollo, the god of the new moon and the new beginning. At the same time, it is striking that on Anaphe the mockery and banter took place during a festival of Apollo, whereas virtually everywhere else in Greece it occurred in festivals of Demeter and Dionysos. The chapter emphasizes on the religious and ritual aspects to the Apollonian episode in his commentary on Apollonius IV. It looks first at the initial stage of the episode, then discusses Apollo's epithets Aiglêtês and Asgelatas as well as the birth of Asclepius and concludes with the ritual proper.

Keywords: Anaphe; Apollo Aiglêtês; Asclepius; Asgelatas; festivals of Demeter and Dionysos; Lemnos; mockery



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