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Kretan cult and customs, especially in the Classical and Hellenistic periods: a religious, social and political study

Schofield, C.; (2011) Kretan cult and customs, especially in the Classical and Hellenistic periods: a religious, social and political study. Masters thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Ancient Krete perceived itself, and was perceived from outside, as rather different from the rest of Greece, particularly with respect to religion, social structure, and laws. The purpose of the thesis is to explore the bases for these perceptions and their accuracy. Krete’s self-perception is examined in the light of the account of Diodoros Siculus (Book 5, 64-80, allegedly based on Kretan sources), backed up by inscriptions and archaeology, while outside perceptions are derived mainly from other literary sources, including, inter alia, Homer, Strabo, Plato and Aristotle, Herodotos and Polybios; in both cases making reference also to the fragments and testimonia of ancient historians of Krete. While the main cult-epithets of Zeus on Krete – Diktaios, associated with pre-Greek inhabitants of eastern Krete, Idatas, associated with Dorian settlers, and Kretagenes, the symbol of the Hellenistic koinon - are almost unique to the island, those of Apollo are not, but there is good reason to believe that both Delphinios and Pythios originated on Krete, and evidence too that the Eleusinian Mysteries and Orphic and Dionysiac rites had much in common with early Kretan practice. The early institutionalization of pederasty, and the abduction of boys described by Ephoros, are unique to Krete, but the latter is distinct from rites of initiation to manhood, which continued later on Krete than elsewhere, and were associated with different gods. Laws were inscribed earlier and in greater quantity on Krete than elsewhere, and it is argued that Sparta’s constitution was modeled on Krete’s, rather than vice versa. Despite opportunities for cities to meet, and the establishment of the Hellenistic koinon, the Kretans rarely spoke with a single voice. There is little evidence of historical colonization into or from Krete, and the island was uniquely uninvolved in outside wars and alliances over the period considered.

Type: Thesis (Masters)
Title: Kretan cult and customs, especially in the Classical and Hellenistic periods: a religious, social and political study
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
Additional information: Page 285 which is a map of Ancient Krete is not present in the electronic copy
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL SLASH > Faculty of Arts and Humanities > Dept of Greek and Latin
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1322996
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