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Seized by the Nymph?: Onesagoras the “dekatephoros” in the Nymphaeum at Kafizin in Cyprus

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Published
<mark>Journal publication date</mark>2012
<mark>Journal</mark>Kernos
Volume25
Number of pages18
Pages (from-to)9-26
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English

Abstract

While dedicatory practices have been a subject of frequent studies by historians of Greek religion, existing scholarship has paid little or no attention to an important dossier of inscriptions from Cyprus: on the conical hill of Kafizinis a cave-sanctuary where some 310 inscribed items of pottery have been excavated, the vast majority of which were inscribed with the name Onesagoras, son of Philounios, and were dedicated to a Nymph between 225 and 218 B.C. Onesagoras displayed such an intensity in his worship of the Nymph that he may be thought of as a nympholept or as being possessed by the Nymph. The dossier makes available important material for the study of religious practices at the subpolis level. This article aims to bring this material to the attention of students and scholars of Greek religion and to raise questions concerning dedicatory practices.