Treasure Hunting in the Attic of Ancient Polytheism

The inspiration for this post is Jon D. Mikalson's Ancient Greek Religion, which Ada finished last month. It explores the religion of Athens during the classical period, and she was pleased to find it challenged a lot of her assumptions about what Paganism was and could be in the best possible way. In this Root and Stem, we start off discussing what Ada’s found in the attic of Athenian religion, and end up discussing a few common polytheism misconceptions and how hard it can be to find good information about pagan religions not ‘re’written by Christian scholars and lawspeakers…


Ada: So, I wanted to share the goodies I found digging around the attic of ancient Athens, and I wanted to hear your thoughts and your stories about digging through historical religions for inspiration. 


Lee: Goodness, I know the absolute bare minimum about Greek religion, what my birth name means in Greek, how to spell ‘nestling’ and a handful of song lyrics by Sakis Rouvas. So pretty much everything you could tell me about Greek religions would be a challenge, to me.


Well, I mean that’s not entirely true. I know a couple of myths, a fair bit about Hermes, Persephone and Orpheus/Eurydice. But not much more than that.  So teach me, oh wise Ada. What do I need to unlearn?


Ada: Everything, Lee.

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