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Oil Annointing

Post  AgathonZante on Wed Oct 01, 2014 1:46 pm

Did the Greeks anoint their statues with oils, and if so, in what way?
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Re: Oil Annointing

Post  Erodius on Thu Oct 02, 2014 12:39 am

AgathonZante wrote:Did the Greeks anoint their statues with oils, and if so, in what way?

Yes, in a few ways, and for a few different purposes.

First, statues made from materials like wood or ivory would be periodically bathed with oil to preserve their condition.

Ceremonially, anointing is a part of formal consecration (ἐμψυχία) [empsychía] of a cult image. Likewise, at the ceremonies of lectisternia — divine meals shared between the holy and the Gods, who 'attend' the meal via statues consecrated with empsychia — the images would be treated as animate representatives of the deity, and would be bathed, oiled, perfumed, ornamented, clothed, fanned, waited on and served as honored guests, precisely the same as you see in formal temple ceremonies in India today.

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