petak, 28. svibnja 2010.

Giovanni Casadio - Mystic Cults in Magna Graecia

The definition of “Magna Graecia” has varied from the time the Greeks
first settled the coastal regions of Italy—sometimes including the area
from Campania to Sicily, at other times excluding significant portions of
this territory.1 But this area has always been home to the mystic cults and traditions that preceded and accompanied Christianity, including the Sibyl of Cumae, the worship of Demeter and Persephone (her abduction took place in Sicily), Dionysian and Orphic cults, and other cults such as those of Cybele, Isis, and Mithras. In June 2002 a symposium sponsored by the Vergilian Society and Brandeis University was held at the Villa Vergiliana in Cuma, Italy, on the topic, “The Cults of Magna Graecia.” The purpose of this symposium was to examine the evidence in the material remains and surviving literature related to cults of Greek, Oriental, and Egyptian origin in southern Italy and the religious perceptions of these practices in Rome. The phrase Fortunatae gentes, from Vergil’s Aeneid (11.252), implies that those who have been initiated into the mystery cults enjoy a blessed (fortunatus) situation both in life and after death—a basic belief in the mystery cults that was later adopted by Christianity.

391 Pages

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