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New Problems In Athenian Religion:The 'sacred Law' From Aixone

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Chapter Summary

The sacred law from Aixone, regulating the perquisites owed to a succession of priests, is a noteworthy document in several regards. The law reveals a form of sacrifice from which the officiating priest or priestess receives the skin of the animal but no meat. Beneath its dully repetitive surface, it allows, by its comprehensiveness, informed speculation about the varied sacrificial practices in different cults. References to individual priesthoods are quite common in deme documents, and one speaks of 'the priests', one of 'the priests and priestesses', as a group; the maximum of identifiable priests in deme documents other than this one, however, is three: the priestesses of Dionysus and Semele, of the heroines, and of Hera at Erchia. If the priesthoods in the document are priesthoods of the deme, the cults they serve will all be within the deme's territory.

Keywords: Aixone; Athenian religion; deme documents; priesthoods; sacred law; sacrificial practices



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