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Goddess in The Republic

Post  ChrisWAldridge on Sat Mar 12, 2016 4:42 pm

In Plato's Republic, the first line begins with reverence to a Goddess in Piraeus. Which Goddess was this talking about?

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Re: Goddess in The Republic

Post  DavidMcCann on Sat Mar 12, 2016 7:02 pm

That was the Thracian goddess Bendis. The Thracian expatriates in the Piraeus had been granted permission to build a shrine to her there, and the Athenians joined in the annual festival.

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Re: Goddess in The Republic

Post  Erodius on Sun Mar 13, 2016 12:10 pm

Yes, Bendis, identified with Ártemis.

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-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

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Re: Goddess in The Republic

Post  DavidMcCann on Sun Mar 13, 2016 2:18 pm

She may be depicted as looking like Artemis, but if the Athenians had identified them, she wouldn't have needed separate worship. Also Bendis, unlike Artemis, has a consort: Deloptes.

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Re: Goddess in The Republic

Post  Thrasyvoulos on Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:10 pm

DavidMcCann wrote:She may be depicted as looking like Artemis, but if the Athenians had identified them, she wouldn't have needed separate worship. Also Bendis, unlike Artemis, has a consort: Deloptes.

Artemis does have a consort (though without sexual connotations), depending on which specific tradition within the overarching branch of Hellenic religion you are speaking of.

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Re: Goddess in The Republic

Post  Erodius on Sun Mar 20, 2016 1:25 pm

DavidMcCann wrote:She may be depicted as looking like Artemis, but if the Athenians had identified them, she wouldn't have needed separate worship. Also Bendis, unlike Artemis, has a consort: Deloptes.

Bendis was strongly identified with Artemis among the Athenians, and elsewhere – identity is hardly so cut and dry – different cults had different cult centers, but the same divinity might have numerous sanctuaries around the same area, some dedicated to the same form of the divinity, others to variant forms, whose mythology may vary from only slightly divergent to considerably divergent. This, however, to the ancient mind, hardly preclude consideration of them all as manifestations of the same power.

That the Thracian Artemis (and other Artemides) might have consorts, while the Attic Artemis does not – unlike to a contemporary westerner's reckoning – was not necessarily a contradiction to the ancient mind.

"Do we not know that the Bendidia is a festival in honour of Artemis in which the goddess is worshipped according to the custom of the people of Thrace, and that 'Bendis' is her Thracian name? The Panathenaic festival, on the other hand, and especially the little Panethenaic to which Plato refers, was a celebration in honour of Athena which followed the Bendidia in the calendar. Both Artemis and Athena are daughters of Zeus, both are virgins, and, let it be added, both are light-bearing deities, though there is a difference between them in that the one is called phosphoras because she brings to light the hidden formative principles of nature whereas the other because she kindles the intellectual light of the souls" -Proclus, On the Republic of Plato

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"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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