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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.

"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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