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Mystic Cults in Magna Graecia
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summary
In Vergil’s Aeneid, the poet implies that those who have been initiated into mystery cults enjoy a blessed situation both in life and after death. This collection of essays brings new insight to the study of mystic cults in the ancient world, particularly those that flourished in Magna Graecia (essentially the area of present-day Southern Italy and Sicily). Implementing a variety of methodologies, the contributors to Mystic Cults in Magna Graecia examine an array of features associated with such “mystery religions” that were concerned with individual salvation through initiation and hidden knowledge rather than civic cults directed toward Olympian deities usually associated with Greek religion. Contributors present contemporary theories of ancient religion, field reports from recent archaeological work, and other frameworks for exploring mystic cults in general and individual deities specifically, with observations about cultural interactions throughout. Topics include Dionysos and Orpheus, the Goddess Cults, Isis in Italy, and Roman Mithras, explored by an international array of scholars including Giulia Sfameni Gasparro (“Aspects of the Cult of Demeter in Magna Graecia”) and Alberto Bernabé (“Imago Inferorum Orphica”). The resulting volume illuminates this often misunderstood range of religious phenomena.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Frontmatter
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. v-vi
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  1. Illustrations
  2. pp. vii-x
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  1. Abbreviations
  2. pp. xi-xviii
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  1. Chapter 1. Introduction
  2. pp. 1-30
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  1. Part I. Dionysus and Orpheus
  2. pp. 31-32
  1. Chapter 2. Dionysus in Campania: Cumae
  2. pp. 33-45
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  1. Chapter 3. The Meaning of βάκχος and βακχεύειν in Orphism
  2. pp. 46-60
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  1. Chapter 4. New Contributions of Dionysiac Iconography to the History of Religions in Greece and Italy
  2. pp. 61-72
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  1. Chapter 5. Who Are You? Mythic Narrative and Identity in the “Orphic” Gold Tablets
  2. pp. 73-95
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  1. Chapter 6. Imago Inferorum Orphica
  2. pp. 95-130
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  1. Part II. Demeter and Isis
  2. pp. 137-138
  1. Chapter 8. Aspects of the Cult of Demeter in Magna Graecia: The “Case” of San Nicola di Albanella
  2. pp. 139-160
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  1. Chapter 9. Landscape Synchesis: A Demeter Temple in Latium
  2. pp. 161-189
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  1. Chapter 10. The Eleusinian Mysteries and Vergil’s “Appearance-of-a-Terrifying-Female-Apparition-in-the-Underworld” Motif in Aeneid 6
  2. pp. 190-203
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  1. Chapter 11. Women and Nymphs at the Grotta Caruso
  2. pp. 204-216
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  1. Chapter 12. “Great Royal Spouse Who Protects Her Brother Osiris”: Isis in the Isaeum at Pompeii
  2. pp. 217-234
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  1. Chapter 13. Aegyptiaca from Cumae: New Evidence for Isis Cult in Campania: Site and Materials
  2. pp. 235-250
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  1. Chapter 14. The Mystery Cults and Vergil’s Georgics
  2. pp. 251-274
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  1. Part III. Mithras
  2. pp. 275-276
  1. Chapter 16. The Mithraic Body: The Example of the Capua Mithraeum
  2. pp. 290-313
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  1. Chapter 17. Why the Shoulder?: A Study of the Placement of the Wound in the Mithraic Tauroctony
  2. pp. 314-324
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 325-358
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  1. General Index
  2. pp. 359-366
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  1. Index Locorum
  2. pp. 367-370
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  1. Index of Authors
  2. pp. 371-372
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