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The Role of Darkness in Ancient Greek Religion and Religious Practice

Boutsikas, Efrosyni (2017) The Role of Darkness in Ancient Greek Religion and Religious Practice. In: Papadopoulos, Costas and Moyes, Holley, eds. The Oxford Handbook of Light in Archaeology. Oxford University Press, Oxford. ISBN 978-0-19-878821-8. (doi:10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198788218.001.0001) (KAR id:59157)


Aiming at a better understanding of ways through which the ancient Greek religious experience was shaped, this chapter investigates the role and use of darkness in religious belief and practice. The orientation and certain architectural features of Greek temples, Dionysiac and Mystery cults, divination, rites of passage, magic, and other nocturnal rituals are examined here in an investigation of the interplay between light, darkness, and shadow and the aims fulfilled by such associations. It transpires that darkness was a decisive element in the religious experience, one that intensified the emotional condition of the participants, whilst shaping the ritual experience and memory of the event.

Item Type: Book section
DOI/Identification number: 10.1093/oxfordhb/9780198788218.001.0001
Uncontrolled keywords: Eleusinian Mysteries, Dionysiac Mysteries, oracle of the dead-Nekyomanteion, pannychis, magic, Arrephoria, nocturnal rites, temple orientation, astronomy, religious experience, Classical and Archaeological Studies
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Efrosyni Boutsikas
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2016 21:52 UTC
Last Modified: 09 Dec 2022 01:33 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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