Persian Sovereignty and the Gods of the Athenians

Mark Munn

in The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia

Published by University of California Press

Published in print November 2006 | ISBN: 9780520243491
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520931589 | DOI:
Persian Sovereignty and the Gods of the Athenians

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  • Religion in the Ancient World


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This chapter considers some of the tensions generated by the murder of Darius' heralds and the rejection by the Athenians of the Mother of the Gods. It traces the evidence for continuing changes in Athenian religious institutions in the years after 491. The particular focus is on the relationship between the hallmarks of classical Athenian religion and the symbols of Persian sovereignty. Cults of Artemis, Athena, and Demeter, powerful goddesses with sublimated sexuality, seem to stand in the Athenian consciousness in the stead of the cult of Kybebe. This chapter also discusses the ideological concepts embedded in each of these cults and how these underwent changes in association with the end of war between Athens and Persia, at the time of the so-called Peace of Callias, when the construction of the Parthenon began.

Keywords: Athens; Greece; classical era; deities; mythology; Artemis; Athena; Demeter; Kybebe

Chapter.  16750 words. 

Subjects: Religion in the Ancient World

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