Cookies Policy

This site uses cookies. By continuing to browse the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.

I accept this policy

Find out more here


No metrics data to plot.
The attempt to load metrics for this article has failed.
The attempt to plot a graph for these metrics has failed.
The full text of this article is not currently available.

Brill’s MyBook program is exclusively available on BrillOnline Books and Journals. Students and scholars affiliated with an institution that has purchased a Brill E-Book on the BrillOnline platform automatically have access to the MyBook option for the title(s) acquired by the Library. Brill MyBook is a print-on-demand paperback copy which is sold at a favorably uniform low price.

Access this article

+ Tax (if applicable)
Add to Favorites
You must be logged in to use this functionality

image of Numen

In this article, I argue that the geographical periphery, the eschatia, represented an area within the ancient Greek worldview that reflected a territorial parallel to the intermediate state of the Greek rites of passage. There were also a number of mythological ties between the eschatia and this ritual mid state, the most basic aspect of both of them consisting of a simultaneous being and non-being that entailed a sense of profound confusion of all proper categories. Placed not only betwixt and between the land of the dead and polis as the land of the living, but also between an Olympian and a chthonic divine sphere, the uncultivated geographical periphery represented an ambiguous and primordial landscape, where men had still not been distinguished from the realm of the gods, the animals, and the dead. As the geographical periphery thus was considered to reflect a primordial quality, the intermediate phase of various rites of passage was seen as the ritual imitation of this area. Having journeyed to the ends of the earth and the land of the dead, Heracles could therefore suggest closing down the Eleusian mysteries. Operating with a theoretical concept of liminal space, I will in this way try to show how the idea of ritual liminality, as initiated by Arnold van Gennep and Victor Turner, may be transferred to a spatial context.


Full text loading...


Data & Media loading...

Article metrics loading...



Can't access your account?
  • Tools

  • Add to Favorites
  • Printable version
  • Email this page
  • Subscribe to ToC alert
  • Get permissions
  • Recommend to your library

    You must fill out fields marked with: *

    Librarian details
    Your details
    Why are you recommending this title?
    Select reason:
    Numen — Recommend this title to your library
  • Export citations
  • Key

  • Full access
  • Open Access
  • Partial/No accessInformation