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dc.contributor.advisorGarthwaite, John
dc.contributor.authorHarvey, William James
dc.date.available2014-04-07T20:35:43Z
dc.date.copyright2014
dc.identifier.citationHarvey, W. J. (2014). Reflections on the Enigmatic Goddess: The Origins of Hekate and the Development of her Character to the End of the Fifth Century B.C. (Thesis, Master of Arts). University of Otago. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10523/4763en
dc.identifier.urihttp://hdl.handle.net/10523/4763
dc.description.abstractThis is a study aimed at reconsidering the origins, in the broadest sense of the word, of the ancient goddess Hekate. To the best of our knowledge, what is the geographical provenance of Hekate? What does the evidence for the goddess up to the end of the fifth century B.C. tell us about the development of her character in the Greek religious world? Why did Hekate acquire such frightening and evil connections to the supernatural and black magic by this point? Although several theories have been proposed about the origin of Hekate, a Karian provenance remains the most likely, notwithstanding the Hellenistic date of the evidence that is normally cited. Tenuous links and methodological flaws characterise the theories that she was Mycenaean or Mesopotamian, while the Thracian theory rests on a fallacious assumption that Hekate evolved from the Thracian Bendis. The Karian theory is propped up by a variety of data that allows us to draw back incrementally the date to which Hekate’s worship in the region may be assigned. Evidence until the end of the fifth century is chronologically dichotomous: the earliest evidence, Hesiod’s Theogony, depicts a great, benevolent goddess, while evidence from the second half of the fifth century characterizes Hekate as a malevolent deity connected to ghosts, witchcraft, and sorcery who could and would occasion grievous harm to people, especially parturient women or newborns. This aspect of Hekate’s divinity in relation to women’s transitions and the failure thereof seems to have become particularly pronounced following her introduction to the Panhellenic pantheon and her mythic subordination to Artemis. But did the goddess ever bear inherent connections to the dead, despite Hesiod’s glowing Hymn to her? Milesian archaeological evidence suggests she might have. However, it was the acquisition of magical properties that ultimately extinguished much of Hekate’s benevolence. It seems most likely that the Thessalian reputation for black magic, which was a direct result of medism in 485 and 480 B.C., was causative of this, given Hekate’s close association with the Thessalian Enodia.
dc.format.mimetypeapplication/pdf
dc.language.isoen
dc.publisherUniversity of Otago
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dc.subjectHekate
dc.subjectHecate
dc.subjectAncient Greek Religion
dc.subjectAncient Near Eastern Religion
dc.subjectTheogony
dc.subjectHomeric Hymn to Demeter
dc.subjectFifth Century Athens
dc.subjectWomen in Antiquity
dc.subjectHesiod
dc.subjectEnodia
dc.subjectMiletos
dc.subjectCaria
dc.subjectKaria
dc.subjectWitchcraft in Antiquity
dc.subjectSorcery in Antiquity
dc.subjectGhosts in Antiquity
dc.subjectBendis
dc.subjectAōrai
dc.subjectChthonic Deities
dc.subjectPindar
dc.subjectMiletus
dc.subjectExtramural Burial in Antiquity
dc.subjectArtemis
dc.subjectKybele
dc.subjectCybele
dc.subjectMagic
dc.subjectMedism
dc.titleReflections on the Enigmatic Goddess: The Origins of Hekate and the Development of her Character to the End of the Fifth Century B.C.
dc.typeThesis
dc.date.updated2014-04-07T07:16:14Z
dc.language.rfc3066en
thesis.degree.disciplineClassics
thesis.degree.nameMaster of Arts
thesis.degree.grantorUniversity of Otago
thesis.degree.levelMasters
otago.openaccessOpen
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