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date: 15 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter offers a brief overview of what we know about the origins of the Greek gods and also problematizes the ‘quest for origins’. For instance, Greek perceptions of origins, as expressed in their own (literary and historical) narratives, are not necessarily in accordance with other types of material and linguistic evidence. The chapter first addresses both ‘native’ and scholarly approaches to the question of the early history of the Greek gods. Second, it uses the figures of Zeus, Herakles, and Aphrodite as case studies to complicate the question of origins in cases where Indo-European and Near Eastern features meet.

Keywords: Aphrodite, Herakles, Indo-European, origins, Zeus, Near Eastern

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