Questions While Viewing Greek Myths and Rituals Through the Lens of Pausanias, I: Did Athena, Goddess of Athens, Belong Only to the Athenians?
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CitationNagy, Gregory. 2020, April 17.Questions while viewing Greek myths and rituals through the lens of Pausanias, I: Did Athena, goddess of Athens, belong only to the Athenians?. Classical Inquiries.
AbstractIn conversations about the ancient world, my sorely-missed friend Emily Vermeule was fond of asking this rhetorical question: in Mycenaean times, was Athena a goddess who was worshipped only in Athens? And there can be variations on such a theme. For example, I have an underlying question, formulated from a diachronic point of view. That is to say, I have a question that is formulated from the standpoint of an outside observer who is trying to view, over time, whatever evidence remains. And there are many obstacles that block such a diachronic view in this case, since the stretch of time to be studied is vast, extending from the second millennium before our era all the way into the first millennium and even later. That said, here is my question, as already worded in the subtitle of this post: did Athena, goddess of Athens, belong only to the Athenians? And there is a related question: was Athens the only place that was ever named after Athena? Further, here is yet another related question, with specific reference to the “classical” Athena as visualized in the illustration that introduces my comments: did this goddess always look like that?
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