Show Summary Details

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD HANDBOOKS ONLINE (www.oxfordhandbooks.com). © Oxford University Press, 2018. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Handbooks Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 22 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

Trying to describe polytheism is a difficult enterprise because the whole system can be seen as a complex structure, each element of which (a deity with its proper name) is both itself a complex set of prerogatives, and, at the same time, must be considered in concert with the other elements. After a brief historiographical overview, this chapter focuses on the first aspect by using the notion of ‘network’ as a metaphor to refer to the complexity of the ancient Greek gods. It provides two case studies, of the Moirai and the goddess Hera. The chapter concludes that polytheism can be described if one conceptualizes the complexity of the gods—their unity and diversity—together at every level (Panhellenic and local, cult and myths, and so on).

Keywords: Hera, Moirai, polytheism, network, complexity, unity, diversity, Panhellenic, local, myth, cult

Access to the complete content on Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts and keywords for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can''t find the answer there, please contact us.