Human Transgression – Divine Retribution A study of by Rostad, Aslak PDF

By Rostad, Aslak

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Although these two terms did not mean exactly the same thing, they were both crucial to the definition of ‘the other’. 22 I think this is a correct observation, but it is not unproblematic, because the term is often used in a pejorative sense; in Hellenistic and Roman times, no one would define themselves as or an adherent of superstitio. Superstitio and deisidaimonia must consequently be seen as a means of setting the external borders of the cults that were acceptable in the eyes of the intellectual and political elite.

30 See Martin 1997 for analysis and criticism of this view. 31 RE I, 29-93. 32 Reiss 1894, 29: “die Frucht vor höheren Wesen, Geistern oder Göttern”. 33 Martin 1997. Martin refers to Theophrastus and Diodorus Siculus. Cf. also Martin 2004. 34 Martin 1997, 118-119. 56 opposites, with everything having its place and the balance needing to be maintained. Martin’s analysis also explains why Plutarch claims that deisidaimonia exists among several ethnic groups, even Greeks. Deisidaimonia is not necessarily something alien or foreign, but out of balance with proper religious conduct.

Section 2 presents an analysis of how cultic 16 For the creation of archaic Greek law as answers to particular problems and cases, see Hölkeskamp 1992 and Thomas 1995. 51 morality should be understood in terms of the limitations of behaviour that ancient societies imposed on its members. The focus here is how these boundaries were defined religiously and how cultic morality, which is one aspect of the religious boundaries, fits into this picture. I will also consider to what extent these boundaries were means of social control.

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Human Transgression – Divine Retribution A study of religious transgressions and punishments in Greek cultic regulations and Lydian-Phrygian reconciliation inscriptions by Rostad, Aslak


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