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date: 04 March 2021

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

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