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Goddess Before Personification? Right And Retribution

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Chapter Summary

Themis and Nemesis are well known in the arts and cults of Archaic Greece. Themis and Nemesis are interconnected in myth perhaps before they are joined in cult at Rhamnous. Nemesis appears first in Attic art at approximately the same time as Kratinos' play, noted above, when she received her long awaited temple at Rhamnous. By the fifth century nemesis had come to mean (divine) retribution warranted by righteous indignation, such as the punishment that the Persians received at the hands of the Greeks at Marathon. In the epic tradition Nemesis and Themis play important roles in bringing about that which is right, as it is sanctioned by the gods. This is a role that the Athenians, as all Greeks, revered and feared, while they recognised it as necessary or beneficial to the proper course of civilisation.

Keywords: Archaic Greece; Athenian art; Nemesis; retribution; Rhamnous; right; Themis; Trojan War



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