By Giovanni Casadio, Patricia A. Johnston
In Vergil's "Aeneid", the poet signifies that those that were initiated into secret cults take pleasure in a blessed state of affairs either in existence and after dying. This number of essays brings new perception to the learn of mystic cults within the historic international, quite those who flourished in Magna Graecia (essentially the world of present-day Southern Italy and Sicily). enforcing a number of methodologies, the participants to "Mystic Cults in Magna Graecia" learn an array of good points linked to such 'mystery religions' that have been desirous about person salvation via initiation and hidden wisdom instead of civic cults directed towards Olympian deities often linked to Greek faith. individuals current modern theories of historical faith, box reviews from contemporary archaeological paintings, and different frameworks for exploring mystic cults more often than not and person deities in particular, with observations approximately cultural interactions all through. the themes comprise Dionysos and Orpheus, the Goddess Cults, Isis in Italy, and Roman Mithras, explored through a world array of students together with Giulia Sfameni Gasparro ("Aspects of the Cult of Demeter in Magna Graecia") and Alberto Bernabe ("Imago Inferorum Orphica"). The ensuing quantity illuminates this usually misunderstood diversity of non secular phenomena.
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Extra resources for Mystic Cults in Magna Graecia
Mythic Narrative and Identity in the Orphic Gold Tablets,” focuses on the narrative itself rather than, as earlier scholars have done, on the texts behind the variants, such as on an Orphic katabasis poem or a Pythagorean Book of the Dead. Edmonds examines the narrative created by verses in the Orphic tablets, and concludes that the nature of the afterlife and its contrast to the world of the living is less important than the contrast between the nature and identity of the deceased as compared with the nature of other people.
Also worth noting is the close link between Mithras and Saturn (Kronos) as god of the universe and of time (Aion, Saeculum, Aevum); Saturn is the father of Mithras and the one who commissions him, whereas Mithras is in turn connected with the sun god (Sol, Apollo). Mystic cults of Greek, Egyptian, Persian or Phrygian genealogy all have in common certain family resemblances that converge in a definite typology. This typology is based on two categories, one pertaining to the deities involved in the mythic-ritual pattern, that of the Mediterranean “dying and rising gods,” the other pertaining to the human actors, that of “initiation” (in Greek, myēsis or teletē).
The undulating vitiferi colles that enliven the coastal area from the Gulf of Gaeta to the Gulf of Naples—through Ischia, the Vesuvius, and the peninsula of Sorrento—and the ensuing temulentia nobilis (a state of drunkenness elevated to an almost spiritual level, as in the celebrated Horatian example) are emblems of the Campanian landscape. But contrasted with those hills are the fields of wheat that extend as far as the eye can see over the flat area called Terra di Lavoro, anciently known as campi Leborini (probably from lepus, “hare,” turned into terra laboris through a process of popular etymology).