„Homo Venans”. Sakralny wymiar polowania starożytnych Greków według Arriana z Nikomedii
HOMO VENANS. THE RELIGIOUS DIMENSION OF HUNTING IN ANCIENT GREECE ACCORDING TO ARRIAN FROM NICOMEDIA
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The article is devoted to the question of in what sense can we legitimately speak of the religious character of ancient Greek hunting. Relying mainly on the treatise of the famous Greek historian and committed hunter, Arrian of Nicomedia (whose floruit falls in the first half of the second century AD), I argue that hunting was regarded as an activity that remained under the careful guidance of the gods, above all – of Artemis, so, in this, general respect it may be justified to maintain that it was seen as ‘holy’. This assumption, nevertheless, cannot be used as proof in thinking that hunting, trapping, pursuing, chasing and, lastly, killing animals was regarded as ‘sacred’ in the same sense as was the Greek sacrificial ritual, known from classical times (Vth – IVth centuries BC). Occasionally, similarities were seen between the two ways of killing animals, but essentially the ancient Greeks were perfectly aware of the different contexts in which hunting, and ritual slaughtering, occurred. The main basis for such a claim is the fact that it was after a successful hunt that a special type of sacrifice to the god was performed – the so called aparkhai.
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