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Le sacrifice antique

 | 
Véronique Mehl
, 
Pierre Brulé

Troisième partie. Procédures sacrificielles

Cocks to Asklepios : sacrificial practice and healing cult

Emma Stafford

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Rather than looking at a particular element of sacrificial practice, this paper will survey the variety of sacrificial behaviour known to have been associated with a particular cult. Asklepios makes an especially interesting case-study because of the relative abundance of iconographical evidence supplied by votive reliefs,1 and because of his ambiguous status as a hero only promoted to divinity at a relatively late stage in the development of the Greek pantheon. While the main aim of the paper is to see how far sacrificial practice is informative about the nature of a particular cult as a whole, it will also be concerned with the old question of the extent to which ritual is reflective of the recipient’s character. In this respect, the current enquiry forms a sequel to an earlier paper, in which I reviewed the evidence for the existence of heroic elements in the cult of Herakles, and challenged the view that such elements were only peripheral in a primarily divine cult2.Recent accou...

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