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date: 15 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Greek heroes were figures who had lived either in myth or reality and who received a cult after their death on a more official level than the ordinary dead. Scholarship of hero-cults has, to a large extent, focused on how to understand and interpret the heroes’ dead status and the effects that it had on the cult and the relation to the worshippers. From this point of view, the chapter explores the origins and developments of hero-cults from the Iron Age period to Hellenistic times, as well as the cultic expressions of the worship of heroes, both cult places and sacrificial rituals. Two case studies, focusing on Pelops at Olympia and Aleximachos on Amorgos, bring out the heterogeneity of Greek hero-cults depending on the local context as to time, place, and religious and social setting.

Keywords: Aleximachos, death, hero-cult, heroes, Pelops, cult

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