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La place des animaux dans la relation mortelles-divinités : le cas d’Artémis et de Déméter

Abstract : This thesis is based on literary, epigraphic, archaeological, iconographic and archaeozoological sources and studies the symbolic of the animals in the relationship between women and divinities. Two goddesses have been chosen for this purpose: Artemis and Demeter. They have in common the fact they take care of women at different moments of their lives. Two main parts compose the survey. First, a catalog lists 83 sanctuaries of Artemis and Demeter who have a link with animals, together with offerings found inside and myths and inscriptions associated with. A second index classifies all the animals connected with Artemis and Demeter: offerings of the sanctuaries from the first corpus, imageries and texts no connected with a shrine but showing a link between an animal species and a goddess.A synthetic analysis of information from the catalogs talks about three main interpretations on the presence of animals beside Artemis and Demeter. At first, fertility of women is very important in ancient Greece because it permits to renewing the civic body. The pig has a special relationship with Demeter about fecundity: during the Thesmophoria, the animal is used to assure the fertility of both women and fields. With Artemis, wetland animals are connected with the water and the life. The cattle are also offered to both goddesses in order to assure the perpetuation of the herd and the city at the same time. Then, the woman before her marriage is like a savage animal and she must be domesticated. Artemis takes care of young girls because she is the goddess of passages and transitions. She allows the domestication of the girls with an initiation called arkteia: during this ritual, the little girls make “the bear”. As divinity of the wild nature, Artemis also is assimilated to the Pόtnia Théron and has the power of life and death on both animals and women. She punishes the girls who transgress the rules: Callisto and Atalante. Artemis and Demeter are kourotrophic goddesses taking care of all gender children. However, if the animals with the divinities are close to the women, there are in connection too with the boys: the dog and the horse evoke the citizenship status of the men and the formation of the young boys, especially with Artemis. Some species are also chthonic characteristics, as the snake, the pig and the tortoise and make a link between the life and the death. Other animals incarnate the divinity: the boar of Kalydon has been send by Artemis because she was angry and a lot of animals are victims of ritual sacrifices and permit a communication with the gods and goddesses. Unfortunately, there are also some species with no real connection with Artemis and Demeter: there are offered in small number in the sanctuaries of both divinities or there contrariwise are given to all the gods.
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Submitted on : Monday, April 16, 2018 - 2:29:07 PM
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  • HAL Id : tel-01767692, version 1



Annabelle Amory. La place des animaux dans la relation mortelles-divinités : le cas d’Artémis et de Déméter. Archéologie et Préhistoire. Université Charles de Gaulle - Lille III, 2017. Français. ⟨NNT : 2017LIL30032⟩. ⟨tel-01767692⟩



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