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Forum LockedWeapons in Ancient Greek rituals

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olvios View Drop Down
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    Posted: 30-Nov-2007 at 04:56
Did the ancient Greeks bear arms in religious rituals? Swords or Spears and anything other than an armor and helmet.From the Iliad up to hellenistic era.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Aster Thrax Eupator Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Nov-2007 at 09:34
I think that weaponry was placed in the temples by processions, but I doubt that it was worn by them. Many of the Metopes on some Doric temples sport shields, and Herodotus states that temple treasuries were often stuffed full of arms. It also depends what you would mean by religious rituals? Do you mean a Paean, because those were often sung on the field of battle, do you mean a sacifice, because those were often performed on the field of battle. When it comes to actually wearing armour I would imagine not - we know from theatrical events that it was illegal to display violence on stage (note the Oedipan and Orestean triologies- there is no act of violence performed on stage in either of these plays), and since the play was a piece of a larger ceremony, I should imagine that carrying weapons that had been bloodied would have been illegal.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote olvios Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Nov-2007 at 11:53
I mean inside  a temple or any presence of armed men in peace time close to the actual ritual and not just guards in the perimeter or outside the temple.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Yiannis Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Nov-2007 at 12:38
My understanding is that no they did not. Sometimes they wore ceramonial helmets or thorax but no weapons.
 
Have a look at the progression of the Panathenea. No-one in the frieze is bearing arms.
Philip, when he was entering the stadium for the celebration was unarmed.
 
Also temples were considered as Asylums where percecuted people could seek protections and their prececutors were not allowed to touch them.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Flipper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30-Nov-2007 at 18:10
I highly doubt they did.
If we take into consideration that they asked for permission before pickip up a flower*, weapons are too much to fit the picture. I believe that this impression is because some people in our times appear full dressed warriors.

* many spells have been found related to picking up plats (see PGM IV 286-95 for example)


Edited by Flipper - 30-Nov-2007 at 18:11


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