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Pilgrimage in Graeco-Roman and Early Christian AntiquitySeeing the Gods$
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Jas Elsner and Ian Rutherford

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780199237913

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: February 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199237913.001.0001

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Pilgrims and Ethnographers: In Search of the Syrian Goddess

Pilgrims and Ethnographers: In Search of the Syrian Goddess

(p.333) 12 Pilgrims and Ethnographers: In Search of the Syrian Goddess
Pilgrimage in Graeco-Roman and Early Christian Antiquity

J. L. Lightfoot

Oxford University Press

This chapter presents a close analysis of one of the most complete accounts of a pilgrimage in an ancient source: Lucian's account (‘On the Syrian Goddess’) of extensive pilgrimage from areas in the Near East to the temple of the so-called Syrian Goddess at Hierapolis-Membij in North Syria during the early centuries of the Roman Empire. In Lucian's portrayal, this Syrian pilgrimage is significantly different in a number of respects from forms of pilgrimage indigenous to the Greek and Roman world. The chapter explores the issues of the historical reality behind Lucian's account and the Greek literary traditions of the narrator of the work.

Keywords:   pilgrimage, Syrian goddess, Lucian, Near East, ethnography

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