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Embedded Speech In The Attic Leges Sacrae

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Chapter Summary

Sacrifice and prayer were the cornerstones of Greek religious practice. An important body of evidence for understanding Athenian religion are the sacred laws, in which the oral dimension of cult is almost completely absent. It is this silence which is explored in this chapter. Sacred laws are an extremely valuable source for local ritual practice, but, pertain only to new or revised religious customs, and were never used as part of ritual performances. Given the financial focus of many of these documents, detailed information about offerings to gods may be included with the aim of creating public notices for the expenditure of state resources. The chapter presents examples, which are the only attestations of speech acts in the Attic leges sacrae from the 5th-4th centuries, the time during which inscribed decrees flourish in Athens.

Keywords: embedded speech; Greek; leges sacrae; sacred laws



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