The queen of heaven and a goddess for all the people [electronic resource] : kingship, religion, and cultural evolution between Greece and the Near East, 3000-500 BCE
- Megan Johanna Daniels.
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- This dissertation traces the evolution of the ideologies of divine kingship within the cultural groups of western Asia and the eastern Mediterranean across the Bronze and Iron Ages through textual and material sources concerning the worship of the Queen of Heaven. Using a range of case studies from the Bronze and Iron Ages to understand the shifting meanings of this deity and her relation to earthly kingship, I argue that the Iron Age Greeks, even as they experimented with novel egalitarian forms of rule, engaged with and transformed discourses of divine kingship through mythical and ritual practices that critiqued and reoriented human beings' relationships with the gods. The major aim of this study is to develop a comprehensive historical perspective on Greece and its cultural, social, and political relations with cultural groups to the east through the shared ritual language surrounding divine kingship. To this end, along with my case studies, I consider theories of cultural evolution of religion, and in particular religion's role in the cultural and cognitive shifts that heralded the axial age, to understand the trajectories and meanings of these shifting relationships, between Greece and the Near East, king and society, and humans and their gods.
- Publication date
- Submitted to the Department of Classics.
- Thesis (Ph.D.)--Stanford University, 2016.
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