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Women's Affairs? On A Group Of Attic Votive Reliefs With Unusual Decoration

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Chapter Summary

Concerning ancient Greek religion, sometimes even unspectacular objects offer important information on cult and ritual practice. The votives discussed in this chapter are unspectacular at first sight indeed. They are rather modest offerings; small marble reliefs with simple decoration. The chapter examines that these strange votives are connected with specific cults and probably with specific dedicators as well. Until now, at least six examples of these characteristic votives are identified. One example for a votive relief decorated with an X-shaped element was found in Megara. The donators of the votives under scrutiny did not offer, as was usual in classical Attica, reliefs with figural scenes, but reliefs ornamented with a ritually important object which was welcome to the divine recipients. Nevertheless, as female dedications in typical female cults-which is most likely-the group of votive reliefs presented in the chapter is rather unique and expands knowledge of ancient Greek votive practice.

Keywords: ancient Greek religion; architectural decoration; Attic votive reliefs; female cults



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