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Ritual Intercession in the Ptolemaic Kingdom. A Survey of Grammar, Semantics and Agency

Stefano G. Caneva

Abstract


This paper explains dedications in the dative and with the hyper formula as bearing two distinct religious meanings and social implications, while also observing that they could be used in interaction in order to express specific conceptual and social messages. The dative ritually positions the honoured rulers at the same level as traditional gods, whereas the hyper formula expresses ritual intercession by the gods for a third party. Ritual agents using hyper intended to share the merit of performing a ritual – and the consequent divine benevolence – with a third, often absent party. Besides its religious significance, performing a religious act in the name of, and for the benefit of a person also has economic and social implications. Thus ritual agents making use of the hyper formula could stress their social standing as well as express their personal bonds with the benefiting party. The broad perspective of the study (global and Ptolemaic perspectives; institutional and individual initiative; inscriptions and papyri) enables an encompassing understanding of the implications of dedicatory habits on the definition of the religious figure of the sovereigns, the ritual expression of social hierarchy and the intercultural encounters between Greeks and non-Greeks.


Keywords


Dedications, hierarchy, intercession, intercultural encounters, ritual communication, Simon Price, status, Thebaid, Comunicazione rituale, dediche, gerarchia, incontri interculturali, intercessione, status, Tebaide

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/erga-2016-002-cane




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