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Asceticisms?

Post  Lesbian Believer on Wed Jul 30, 2014 8:45 am

I have not been here for a few months, but a question appeared in my mind recently and I hope that someone can help me:
Were there any forms of special religious devotion and worship in ancient Greece, such as living in chastity, self-flagellation, self-mutilation, isolation, abstinence, sleep deprivation and so on?
Thank you very much for your answer.

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Re: Asceticisms?

Post  Erodius on Wed Jul 30, 2014 10:39 am

Were there any forms of special religious devotion and worship in ancient Greece, such as living in chastity, self-flagellation, self-mutilation, isolation, abstinence, sleep deprivation and so on?
Thank you very much for your answer.

A large number of cults and offices required either short- or long-term chastity or abstinence of some form, varying depending on the cult. Self-mutilation/flagellation was not common, and was considered somewhat barbaric, but it was a fairly notable feature of the Phrygian Mystery religion of Attis and Cybele. I have never heard of any particular practice of intentional sleep deprivation, but I would venture to guess that it probably did appear in some places. Various forms and degrees of isolation and social separation were fairly common characteristics of some religious philosophical movements.

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Asceticisms?

Post  Lesbian Believer on Wed Jul 30, 2014 12:11 pm

@Erodius: Thank you very much. I read that self-flagellation was common within the cult of Dionysus. Do you know if that is true?

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Re: Asceticisms?

Post  Erodius on Wed Jul 30, 2014 6:49 pm

Lesbian Believer wrote:@Erodius: Thank you very much. I read that self-flagellation was common within the cult of Dionysus. Do you know if that is true?

I have never come upon any reference to self-flagellation in Dionysiac cults, per se – however, such and similar practices did feature (very prominently) in the late spring Adonia festival, centered on the story of Adonis, the beloved of Venus, whose festival involved large-scale public mourning and lamentations – which, in Graeco-Roman culture, fairly typically involved some kind of self-flagellation.  

In later Antiquity, Adonis came to be merged in many ways with Διόνυσος – the Orphic 'First Διόνυσος' in particular, who was cut apart and swallowed up by the Titans. The Adonidian cult was seen to mirror the same 'divine drama' as present in Orphism (and later Christianity as well) of a divine being sent to earth, who is subsequently dies violently, is taken down into the 'belly' of the earth, and who then is restored to life. 

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re:Asceticisms

Post  Keegan S. on Wed Jul 30, 2014 11:59 pm

Who is Διόνυσος? From what you posted about him, he sounds like Uranus/Ouranos.

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Re: Asceticisms?

Post  Erodius on Thu Jul 31, 2014 12:19 am

Keegan S. wrote:Who is Διόνυσος? From what you posted about him, he sounds like Uranus/Ouranos.

Διόνυσος/Diónysos/Bacchus/Liber/Bromius . . . or any of a range of other names; the divinity of life in all his forms, and of theatre, viticulture, and sailing in some. Are you not familiar? I would be a bit surprised if not, but do ask if you aren't. 

He is, indeed, a hypostasis of Heaven/Οὐρανός; the mutual parallelism is much more than simply coincidence.

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Re: Asceticisms?

Post  Keegan S. on Thu Jul 31, 2014 2:18 am

Erodius wrote:
Keegan S. wrote:Who is Διόνυσος? From what you posted about him, he sounds like Uranus/Ouranos.

Διόνυσος/Diónysos/Bacchus/Liber/Bromius . . . or any of a range of other names; the divinity of life in all his forms, and of theatre, viticulture, and sailing in some. Are you not familiar? I would be a bit surprised if not, but do ask if you aren't. 

He is, indeed, a hypostasis of Heaven/Οὐρανός; the mutual parallelism is much more than simply coincidence.
Not very familiar......even if I was I can't read greek Razz and your big words don't help much either :/ please clarify because I'm now more confused than before, which I understand is not your intention and I apologise for my lack of vocabulary :p

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Re: Asceticisms?

Post  Erodius on Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:19 am

About what in particular are you confused? About who Bacchus is? 

These pages ought to be helpful for that:

http://www.hellenicgods.org/dionysos-sonofzeus

http://www.theoi.com/Olympios/Dionysos.html


Viticulture is the cultivation (cultura) of grapevines (vitis). Bacchus is considerably more than just a 'divinity of wine', as one might often see printed – and, further, considerably more than just a divinity of viticulture as well.  

A hypostasis is an extension or presence of something at a lower level that existed prior at a higher level. A governor of a state or province could be said to be a hypostasis of the regent of the whole country. 

I would highly recommend learning to at least read and recognize Greek letters (just the letters and their sounds, I don't mean learning the whole language right off). Especially in good-quality printed materials, Greek terms are often not transliterated (depending on the text, they are often not translated either).

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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Thank you

Post  Keegan S. on Thu Jul 31, 2014 3:21 pm

Ok I have a better understanding now than I did before Smile and I will.be sure to take the time o learn the letters and sounds

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