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Inner Purity and Pollution in Greek ReligionVolume I: Early Greek Religion$
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Andrej Petrovic and Ivana Petrovic

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780198768043

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198768043.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 16 June 2021

Inner Purity and Pollution in the Beyond

Inner Purity and Pollution in the Beyond

The Evidence of the Gold Leaves (OF 488–491 (= Graf/Johnston nos. 5–7, 9))

(p.249) 12 Inner Purity and Pollution in the Beyond
Inner Purity and Pollution in Greek Religion

Andrej Petrovic

Ivana Petrovic

Oxford University Press

Chapter 12 focuses on the ‘Orphic’ gold tablets OF 488, 489, and 490, found in Thurii and dated to the beginning of the fourth century BC, and OF 491, found in Rome and dated to AD 260. In the first line of these texts the soul of the deceased is presented as ‘pure, coming from the pure’. The chapter analyses ritual purity in the tablets from the perspective of ‘Orphic beliefs’. The pure psyche in the tablets is a consequence of the ‘Orphic’ cathartic ritual which renders the soul of the initiate pure and fit to address the divinities in the underworld. With the ‘Orphics’ we encounter ritual purification and the resulting purity of the psyche as an investment in salvation; the focus of purity is the human soul, and the aim of the purification is soteriological.

Keywords:   gold leaves, Orphism, pure soul, psyche, eschatology, Persephone, Orphic telete, Dionysus, soteriology, orpheotelestes

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