Aegeus Society For Aegean Prehistory


23 January 2012

The strangeness of Crete. Problems for the protohistory of Greek religion

Matthew Haysom in Matthew Haysom & Jenny Wallensten (eds), Current approaches to religion in ancient Greece. Papers presented at a symposium at the Swedish Institute at Athens, 17-19 April 2008 (Stockholm, 2011): 95-110.

From the Introduction

Scholarship on Cretan religion has always emphasized the islands oddity. It emerges from the literature as a land of suckling and dying gods, prehistoric practices, and tribal initiation rites. This paper will explore the interlinked themes of strangeness and continuity on the island. After investigating how idiosyncratic Cretan religious practices really were, it will argue that the real surprise, given the island’s development through prehistory, is not oddity or continuity but the degree to which it conformed to wider Greek norms.


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