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Aegina: Contexts for Choral Lyric PoetryMyth, History, and Identity in the Fifth Century BC$
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David Fearn

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199546510

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199546510.001.0001

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Musical Merchandise ‘on every vessel’: Religion and Trade on Aegina

Musical Merchandise ‘on every vessel’: Religion and Trade on Aegina

(p.129) 4 Musical Merchandise ‘on every vessel’: Religion and Trade on Aegina
Aegina: Contexts for Choral Lyric Poetry

Barbara Kowalzig (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Taking as its starting-point the image of song as cargo from the opening of Pindar's Nemean 5, this chapter discusses the political and economic identity of the archaic and classical Aeginetans through detailed exploration of myths and religious practices, on Aegina itself, as well as in the Saronic Gulf and the wider Greek Mediterranean, in particular with regard to Aiakos and the Aeginetan cult of Zeus. The Aeginetan mythic self is profoundly linked to the island's commercial activities; a set of interconnected myths and cults embeds the island in patterns of local and regional economic activity in the Saronic Gulf; and Aeginetans also form part of a wider elite-born network of commercial and maritime enterprise in the Aegean and Eastern Mediterranean. Stereotypical Aeginetan characteristics such as ‘strength at sea’ and ‘justice’ or ‘hospitality’ towards strangers are reflections of the island's role as a cosmopolitan hub in the Saronic Gulf.

Keywords:   Aegina, Aiakos, Zeus, maritime trade, myth, ritual, networks, economics

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