Priests and priestesses in Mycenaean Greece

Christina, Aamondt (2006) Priests and priestesses in Mycenaean Greece. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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The aim of this thesis is to investigate the evidence concerning the existence of a Mycenaean priesthood. The existence of religious specialists responsible for the performance of ritual acts is universal and can be attributed to their role as intermediaries between humans and the divine. Evidence from the Linear B tablets attest to the existence of priests (i-je-re-u) and priestesses (i-je-re-ja) during the high point of the Mycenaean period, responsible for mediating between the people and the divine in the performance of ritual acts. Textual and iconographic evidence indicate the performance of various cult practices, such as animal sacrifice and the celebration of festivals, complemented by archaeological evidence of cult installations and equipment employed.

The fact that the majority of the evidence associates priests with the palatial centres indicates that they were closely connected to them, and that most likely the office of priesthood was restricted to the elite, even though the existence of priests in communities away from the palatial centres is not overlooked. Textual evidence provides information concerning the organisation of the priesthood, indicating that it was associated with a body of cult assistants, while a hierarchy existed among priests, most likely defined by the cult place they operated at and its connection with the palace. Finally, the examination of the association of cult places with economic matters in the Linear B tablets concludes that cult places had a certain degree of independence in terms of their maintenance and their cult needs.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Cavanagh, W.G.
Keywords: Mycenaean Greece, priests, priestesses, rituals, Linear B tablets
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
D History - General and Old World > DF Greece
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Arts > School of Humanities
Item ID: 57539
Depositing User: Eprints, Support
Date Deposited: 02 Sep 2019 10:54
Last Modified: 07 May 2020 09:31

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