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Subject Religion

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631181392.1995.x


[ xvi ] A temenos (sanctuary) was dedicated to one or more deities and served a polis (see G reek religion ), a smaller community, all the Greeks (for example the Panhellenic sanctuaries of Delphi and Olympia), or a section of them. A wall, or boundary markers, separated it from secular space. Sanctuaries varied in shape, size and splendour and in the number and size of their buildings. Unlike the altar ( bomos, eschara (see R ites )), the temple ( naos ) was not an essential religious part of the Greek sanctuary; some sanctuaries are earlier than their temples and some never acquired a temple. Some sanctuaries contained a sacred tree, stone or spring. Some were grove sanctuaries or cave sanctuaries. Votive offerings ( anathemata ) were dedicated, gifts to the gods to be used in cult or simply to be, and adorn the sanctuary; some of these (e.g. statues) stood in the open. Buildings included store rooms, dining rooms, porticoes; some sanctuaries had areas for games and dramatic performances. The primary function of most temples was to house the cult statue of the deity, to which worshippers addressed prayers and made offerings which they placed on offering tables ( trapezai ); the main ritual activity, sacrifice, took place on the altar outside. In some temples important cult activities took place inside. In the temple of Apollo at Delphi ( see M antike ; P olitike ) sacrifices ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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