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Author Topic: Miasma  (Read 3875 times)
Carnelian
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Last Login:January 15, 2012, 12:55:04 pm
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Religion: Greek paganism
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« Reply #4: October 29, 2010, 05:35:12 pm »

There's a problem with this idea with respect to the Greek Gods: Sex/procreation certainly was not something foreign to many of the deities. They were sexually active and had children -- both mortal and immortal.

Yeah, that's a problem that has been brought up before elsewhere. I'm not sure how to explain it, maybe the ancients didn't take their myths as literally as modern people do, or maybe they understood the way gods had sex and gave birth as different and more pure than the way mortals do.

I'd consider the go-to book for this topic in regards to Hellenismos to be Robert Parker's Miasma: Pollution and Purification in Early Greek Religion

It's a complex topic, and the rules and standards varied greatly, depending upon many variables (who, where, what, when etc), so some of your statements are a little general or a little too absolute (like your comments about adultery).

You're probably right, as it's a topic I've just started looking into more deeply. I'll have to find that book you mentioned.

In regards to sexual acts, it seems to be more about underlining the separation of mortal and immortal natures, not particularly the activity itself (though a few acts were considered more polluting). This separation seemed to be most marked in terms of where (not in a sacred precinct) and when (lustration after sex in the daytime might be required, but the passage of night seemed sufficient separation from the act.)

Good point.
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