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date: 04 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Both in the oikos and in public spaces the Greeks encountered numerous visualizations of the divine. If we look at various representations of Athena in Classical Athens it becomes clear that, even for famous statues, our knowledge of their contexts remains incomplete. Their provenience and visual appearance, as well as their role in ritual, are frequently not fully understood. This also applies to possible differences in their meanings: the widespread assumption of a distinction between cult images and dedications does not match ancient categories. The absence of any normative texts clarifying the relationship of gods to their images is not only due to the paucity of our sources, but also points to different functions the images had in different contexts. There was no ‘creed’, which asked the citizens of a polis to specify if, and in what sense, they regarded divine images as helpful in the creation of divine presence.

Keywords: Athens, cult images, images, statues, gods, dedications, Athena

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