The Athenian Adonia In Context: The Adonis Festival As Cultural Practice

Hardcover | May 11, 2016

byLaurialan Reitzammer

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Ancient sources and modern scholars have often represented the Athenian festival of Adonis as a marginal and faintly ridiculous private women’s ritual. Seeds were planted each year in pots and, once sprouted, carried to the rooftops, where women lamented the death of Aphrodite’s youthful consort Adonis. Laurialan Reitzammer resourcefully examines a wide array of surviving evidence about the Adonia, arguing for its symbolic importance in fifth- and fourth-century Athenian culture as an occasion for gendered commentary on mainstream Athenian practices.
            Reitzammer uncovers correlations of the Adonia to Athenian wedding rituals and civic funeral oration and provides illuminating evidence that the festival was a significant cultural template for such diverse works as Aristophanes’ drama Lysistrata and Plato’s dialogue Phaedrus. Her fresh approach is a timely contribution to studies of the ways gender and sexuality intersect with religion and ritual in ancient Greece.

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Ancient sources and modern scholars have often represented the Athenian festival of Adonis as a marginal and faintly ridiculous private women’s ritual. Seeds were planted each year in pots and, once sprouted, carried to the rooftops, where women lamented the death of Aphrodite’s youthful consort Adonis. Laurialan Reitzammer resourceful...

Laurialan Reitzammer is an assistant professor of classics at the University of Colorado, Boulder.
Format:HardcoverDimensions:288 pages, 9 × 6 × 0.87 inPublished:May 11, 2016Publisher:University Of Wisconsin PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0299308200

ISBN - 13:9780299308209

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Extra Content

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Abbreviations and References
Introduction
1 Adonis and the Adonia: Trends in Representation, Ancient and Modern
2 Weddings: Stairway to Heaven
3 Funerals: Aristophanes’s Adôniazousai
4 Philosophy: Gardening for Fun in Plato’s Phaedrus
Conclusion
Figures
Notes
Bibliography
Index

Editorial Reviews

“Persuasively reinterprets the Adonia as a ritual that brought Athenian women’s dissenting voices into the public arena to critique male social institutions and values. This innovative work draws on an immense range of ancient sources—literary, documentary, artistic, and material.”—Laura McClure, series editor