The God who Comes: Dionysian Mysteries Revisited

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Algora Publishing, 2003 - 204 páginas
The most widely acclaimed and influential religious cult in the ancient Greek world, for almost 2000 years, was the Eleusinian Mysteries, the Mystery Rites of Dionysos and associated Hellenic deities. Drawing participants from Rome, Egypt and all around the Mediterranean, the Mysteries influenced and inspired many of the greatest minds including Aristotle, Homer and Plutarch. But initiates were sworn to secrecy; and with the advent of Christianity, the Roman Empire stamped out this "cult." How did adherents of Hellene Mystery Deities performed their worship? What was the symbolism of the sacred objects and the actions performed? The God Who Comes is a meticulously researched exploration of how and why these rites were performed, based upon archaeological, scholarly and iconographic evidence -- a refutation of facile New Age inventions. Cicero said, "Athens never created anything nobler than those sublime Mysteries through which we became gentler and have advanced from a barbarous and rustic life to a more civilized one, so that we not only live more joyfully but also die with a better hope." The author traces how the rituals were related chronologically; why it seems that many aspects of ritual action are unclear or appear transposed; and why no scholar intent upon probing the hows and wherefores of ancient Mystery rites had ever presented them in any sort of chronological, easily-understood manner. She examines parallels in diverse civilizations including the use of hallucinogens in religious rites, and archetypal deities such as shape-changers (like the Navajo Coyote). The book includes an index, Greek-to-English glossary, extensive footnotes and bibliography.

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Contenido

The Sacred Mystery Rites of Eleusis
103
Footnotes
133
GreektoEnglish Glossary
171
Bibliography
187
Index
201
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Página 85 - Achelous' roaming daughter, Holy Dirce, virgin water, Bathed he not of old in thee, The Babe of God, the Mystery? When from out the fire immortal To himself his God did take him, To his own flesh, and bespake him: "Enter now life's second portal, Motherless Mystery; lo, I break Mine own body for thy sake, Thou of the Twofold Door, and seal thee Mine, O Bromios," — thus he spake — "And to this thy land reveal thee.
Página 101 - I am a child of Earth and of Starry Heaven; but my race is of heaven (alone). This ye know yourselves. And lo, I am parched with thirst and I perish. Give me quickly the cold water flowing forth from the Lake of Memory.
Página 101 - But thou shalt find another, from the Lake of Memory — cold water flowing forth, and there are guardians before it. Say: 'I am a child of Earth and of Starry Heaven; but my race is of Heaven (alone).
Página 84 - Or ... with star-flung thunderbolt. I have flown out of the sorrowful weary Wheel; I have passed with eager feet to the Circle desired; I have sunk beneath the bosom of Despoina, Queen of the Underworld; I have passed with eager feet to (or from) the Circle desired; 1 So Diels.
Página 89 - The servant I, Initiate, of Idaean Jove; * Where midnight Zagreus f roves, I rove; I have endured his thunder-cry; Fulfilled his red and bleeding feasts; Held the Great Mother's mountain flame; I am set free and named by name A Bacchos of the Mailed Priests. Robed in pure white I have borne me clean From man's vile birth and coffined clay, And exiled from my lips alway Touch of all meat where Life hath been.
Página 129 - But no one would tell her the truth, neither god nor mortal man; and of the birds of omen none came with true news for her. Then for nine days queenly Deo wandered over the earth with flaming torches in her hands, so grieved that she never tasted ambrosia and the sweet draught of nectar, nor sprinkled her body with water.
Página 87 - Others use it in a more special sense, as for example when they speak of putting a coat of clay or pitch on those who are being initiated, as we say to take a cast of a statue in clay ; for they used to besmear those who were being purified for initiation with clay and pitch. In this ceremony they were mimetically enacting the myth told by some persons, in which the Titans, when they mutilated Dionysos, wore a coating of gypsum in order not to be identified.
Página 86 - For I also avow me that I am of your blessed race. And I have paid the penalty for deeds unrighteous, Whether it be that Fate laid me low or the Gods Immortal Or ... with star-flung thunderbolt.

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