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10. Regional Dialogues and Religious Contestation

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Chapter Summary

This chapter looks deeper into the spatial dimension of polytheism. With respect to state borders, which are of particular interest in the chapter, the Greek notion of boundaries and consequently the use and demarcation of the latter, were apparently quite different from modern notions. The chapter examines the spatial extent (in physical and cognitive terms) of the Aiginetan religious world. It shows how stealing statues serves to bound the Aiginetan sovereignty. The indispensable element of the plot in the story of Damia and Auxesia is the fact of their transfer from Epidauros to Aigina. The social group that previously included Epidaurians and Aiginetans in one political body now became two clearly independent parties. The multifaceted religious interaction between the states of the Saronic Gulf in the Archaic and Classical periods, especially between Athens and Aigina, appears to lend support to the notion of a common Greek religion.

Keywords: Auxesia; Damia; Epidauros; Greek religion; multifaceted religious interaction; polytheism; Saronic Gulf



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