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Man And God At Palmyra: Sacrifice, Lectisternia And Banquets

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Chapter Summary

The evidence for the religious life of Palmyra is very limited. Liturgical texts, prayers or written myths are not handed down, and what the Palmyrenes actually ?believed? remains a mystery. The relationship between the human and the divine spheres could find ritual expression in many different ways at Palmyra. This chapter concentrates on various sorts of sacrifice, lectisternia and banquets, and makes suggestions as to why these divergent means of exchange of material and immaterial matters between man and god were applied in particular circumstances. An appreciation of the conformity, at least partial, of the Palmyrene evidence for sacrificial acts to general patterns of religious culture as are known from the Graeco-Roman world, could then lead to a reappraisal of the ?nature? of these and other aspects of religious life at Palmyra in the Roman period.

Keywords: banquets; lectisternia; Palmyra; Roman period; sacrifice



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