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ANAHITA  March 2000

ANAHITA March 2000

Subject:

Re: Spreading seeds

From:

Jeanne E Hasman <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Women and Gender in the Ancient World <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Mon, 13 Mar 2000 15:13:32 -0700

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (44 lines)

Throw in the distinction between Demeter and Artemis, the mother (ploughed
earth) versus the virgin (uncultivated or "pure" land) and we have quite
a story. These deities are two separate and powerful manifestations of the
Earth in feminine form. Due to the wide spread cult practice of these two
deities throughout the ancient Mediteranean, I for one am not too eager to
jump on the second class citizen bandwagon whole heartedly. Celebrations
like the Thesmophoria annually reestablished the collective feminine
choice to participate in the agricultual society that men and women
created. Women, (married, non-virgins) would leave the city and live in
the wilderness for a few days, sleeping on the gound and eating acorns,
then at the end of the celebration, they would wash up and go home to
continue their lives as wives and mothers. This ensured the productivity
of the earth and I believe,( although I can't find it right now), that
they blessed the seed in the process. The distinction between mother
and virgin, ploughed and unploughed is pertinant, I think. Cult practice
for both deities lasted into late antiquity.
 betsy

>I find this semantic discussion very interesting, but it seems to me to
>be missing the points...
>
J.E. Hasman
Graduate Student, Dept. of Classics
University of Arizona
[log in to unmask]
"Lege atque lacrima"

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