The Cult of Divine Birth in Ancient Greece

  • Authors
  • Marguerite Rigoglioso

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xi
  2. Marguerite Rigoglioso
    Pages 1-11
  3. Marguerite Rigoglioso
    Pages 13-27
  4. Marguerite Rigoglioso
    Pages 29-50
  5. Marguerite Rigoglioso
    Pages 51-81
  6. Marguerite Rigoglioso
    Pages 83-116
  7. Marguerite Rigoglioso
    Pages 117-138
  8. Marguerite Rigoglioso
    Pages 139-169
  9. Marguerite Rigoglioso
    Pages 171-204
  10. Marguerite Rigoglioso
    Pages 205-209
  11. Back Matter
    Pages 211-278

About this book


Greek religion is filled with strange sexual artifacts - stories of mortal women's couplings with gods; rituals like the basilinna's "marriage" to Dionysus; beliefs in the impregnating power of snakes and deities; the unusual birth stories of Pythagoras, Plato, and Alexander; and more. In this provocative study, Marguerite Rigoglioso suggests such details are remnants of an early Greek cult of divine birth, not unlike that of Egypt. Scouring myth, legend, and history from a female-oriented perspective, she argues that many in the highest echelons of Greek civilization believed non-ordinary conception was the only means possible of bringing forth individuals who could serve as leaders, and that special cadres of virgin priestesses were dedicated to this practice. Her book adds a unique perspective to our understanding of antiquity, and has significant implications for the study of Christianity and other religions in which divine birth claims are central. The book's stunning insights provide fascinating reading for those interested in female-inclusive approaches to ancient religion.


argue fashion Greece Greek

Bibliographic information