It has often been thought that participation in fertility rituals was women's most important religious activity in classical Greece. Matthew Dillon's wide-ranging study makes it clear that women engaged in numerous other rites and cults, and that their role in Greek religion was actually more important than that of men.
Women invoked the gods' help in becoming pregnant, venerated the god of wine, worshipped new and exotic deities, used magic for both erotic and pain-relieving purposes, and far more besides. While traditional scholarship has seen such involvement in religion as escapist, Dillon's skillful presentation of the evidence proves that this denigrates women's religiosity and the real importance they attached to their relationship with the divine.
Clear, coherent and comprehensive, this volume challenges many stereotypes of Greek women and offers unexpected insights into their experience of religion. With more than fifty illustrations, and translated extracts from contemporary texts, this is an essential resource for the study of women and religion in classical Greece.