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Open Access Many Gods Complications Of Polytheism

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Many Gods Complications Of Polytheism

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Chapter Summary

Hungry gods and deified mortals, as well as the interaction between rhetorical praise and religious language belong to the most captivating phenomena of Greek religion. The present chapter will be concerned with another theme prompted by these two charming anecdotes, namely that of polytheism. Not that Greeks of the archaic and classical periods used that term to typify their own religion. It is a qualification - or rather a disqualification - invented by Christian monotheists in order to give expression to a conceptual antithesis. In the first section of this chapter we have seen that those who prayed to a god with many (topographical) epithets did not necessarily doubt that it was only one and the same god whom they addressed in their prayer. As a matter of fact, in cult hymns polyonymy is one of the most powerful instruments to emphasize the god's unity.

Keywords: archaic periods; christian monotheists; classical periods; greek religion; polytheism



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