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2 From Coast to Coast: Epigraphic Evidence for Cult and Religion in Coastal Demes of Attica

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Chapter Summary

This chapter provides a broader research on coastal demes of Attica. It deals with sacred aspects of a selected number of rural demes of the Paralia, in order to identify the cults practiced within the boundaries of the various local communities, and to delineate a framework of the forms of worship in the areas of Attica which will be taken into account. Although the essential contribution offered by archaeological evidence and literary sources is constantly taken into consideration, the chapter focuses on the epigraphic material. The archaeological evidence demonstrates a massive presence of shrines in the form of rural naiskoi, small sanctuaries on the top of hills, and sacred caves, which are often located quite far from the demes' center, thus confirming the peculiar character of religious practices within this area. Even so, significant aspects emerging from some inscriptions indicate connections with State and Panhellenic cults.

Keywords: archaeological evidence; coastal demes of Attica; epigraphic material; Panhellenic cults; Paralia; rural naiskoi



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