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Title: Minor healing cults within Athens and its environs
Author: Purday, Kevin Michael
ISNI:       0000 0001 3502 9522
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 1987
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This thesis looks only at the minor, non-Asklepian healing cults in and around Athens and the Peiraieus. It looks at the evidence for healing cults prior to the introduction of Asklepios and concludes that healing was a power exercised by several deities but in a general way quite unlike the concentrated therapy provided by the cults in the post 420 B.C. period. This period saw the emergence of numerous 'saviour deities' and these, along with similar heroes, were at the forefront of a new healing movement. This new movement had two main characteristics. The first was the development of care for the health of individuals and families as well as communities. The second was the network of links connecting healing deities and heroes around Athens and the Peiraieus with gods and goddesses more at home in various parts of the Eastern Mediterranean. Using epigraphic, anaglyptic and any other archaeological evidence available, the various healing cults of Zeus are studied from 420 B.C. until the Roman period. The healing hero Amynos has a chapter to himself. The lunar and maieutic deities are studied as a group and an attempt is made to show that their role was genuinely curative. The Egyptian deities are studied in relation to Delos and their homeland. Finally a range of hero cults is studied. The study concludes that the evidence supports the hypotheses that the Peloponnesian War and the Great Plague formed a watershed in religious beliefs and practices, that the cult of Asklepios profoundly influenced other healing cults and that the cosmopolitan nature of Athenian society often gave them an Eastern flavour.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Mythology of healing in Greece