Selinunte 5th century in sacred area. It

Selinunte had many religious ties to its existence. The site covered an unusually large and well planned sacred area. At one point even known to have at least 10 separate temples from the 6th to 5th century in sacred area. It is not known which deities many of the temples belong to so they classified them using letters.

Many of these temples were dedicated to a god or goddess and from those many sanctuaries arose. For example, Hera’s was created from the Selinunte people recurring Argiva tradition. The sanctuary was consecrated to Hera for she protected the city and marked taking possession of a territory. Construction of this was significant and symbolic because Hera appeared as a protector goddess for the Greeks of Selinunte against Aphrodite protector of the Trojans; whom Elymians boasted they were descendants of.

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 A major temple was also the sanctuary of Demeter Malaphors as mentioned before. Not much was found about the Greek Deities in Selinunte and their Panic Cults. However, much was known surprisingly about the Lex Sacra.  Its inscription was found on a lead tablet two feet wide and eight inches high.

Its dated by letterforms to the mid 5th century. It is essentially a set of rules for sacrifices and other rituals in two unequal columns of writing, upside down to each other. It is inferred to be exhibited a lot during its time judging by the signs of wear. The rituals described in the Lex followed a precise chronological sequence. Column A was applied between the winter and summer solstice. At the end of the interval the tablet was rotated and hung up allowing the reading of column B for the months from the summer solstice leading into winter.

All sacrifices prescribed were to be made to Zeus Eumenês, the Eumenides’, Zeus Milichios, and the Tritopatreis both foul and pure. All sacrifices besides Zeus Eumenês and the Eumenides’ are detailed greatly. In column A, Eumenides’, Zeus Milichios, and the Tritopatreis are all concerned with bloodshed. Eumenides pursue offenders and threaten each household at large. Zeus Milichios is concerned with future purification of both individuals and the community. The Tritopatreis the primordial ancestors are alarmed and angry but turn from “foul” to “pure” when guilt is removed. This columns heading announces a deadline by which the community must be purified and sacrifices must be performed by kinship groups.

Here it is mentioned that preliminary offering are avowedly made by household members. The two cults of Zeus Milichios are to be in the hands of named kinship groups and the cult of Tritopatreis must belong to these kinship groups of Selinus. This leads the whole community to be represented by few leading families chiefly implicated with bloodshed.  Now when it comes to column B there is not much to be known due to its length being significantly shorter than A. Column B is considered with the purification rituals intended for killings, sacrifices, the meaning of Autorektas, and other guilty persons. The purification ritual here consists of a display of hospitality or a concrete “magical” display. All rituals are addressed to a power called elasteros and the person performing the ritual called autorektas.

 Both terms just seem to be enigmatic. All in all the tablet of Selinunte recruits a number of deities in calendar order and fashions rituals for them in a generally convenient manner. The sacrificial code associated manners for both rich and poor. It column A was instructions on how to sacrifice to a series of forbidding deities and B was how to purify oneself when threatened by another forbidding deity. The tablet was pretty much assigned to the aftermath of a sanguinary episode of civil strife and shares the remedies and guidelines to restore peace. It maybe was intended for individuals or families. Rituals may have been singular or repeated. Not much of how this tablet and its complex format was consulted but it carried much religious significance.



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