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Cassandra, Corinth and the Structure of Cultic Prostitution

Morris Silver, City University of New York (CUNY) - Economics Department


SOCIAL HISTORY eJOURNAL

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MORRIS SILVER, City University of New York (CUNY) - Economics Department
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The present article aims to present arguments and to examine evidence showing that temple prostitution was well known in the Greek world. To accomplish this goal, the study begins by analyzing a major body of iconographic evidence known as “The Rape of Cassandra.� It is concluded that Cassandra was pictured nude or nearly-nude because she was understood to be a cultic prostitute. In addition, analysis of the rape myth casts new and unexpected light on the circulation of cults. The second section of the paper utilizes Burnett’s (2011) new translation of a lengthy fragment of Pindar (122 Snell) to offer new support to the existence of temple prostitution at Corinth. Combining “The Rape of Cassandra� with Pindar’s Corinth fragment makes it possible not only to uphold the reality of temple prostitution but also to make new discoveries concerning the structure of the enterprise.

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Social History eJournal

ANDREW L. FORD
Professor of Classics, Princeton University - Department of Classics

CARIN M. GREEN
Professor, University of Iowa - Department of Classics

JUDITH EVANS GRUBBS
Professor, Washington University in St. Louis - Department of Classics

DIRK OBBINK
University Lecturer in Papyrology/Greek Literature, Faculty of Classics, Director - Imaging Papyri, University of Oxford - Faculty of Classics

JOSIAH OBER
Professor, Stanford University - Department of Classics

ANDREW M. RIGGSBY
Associate Professor, University of Texas at Austin - Department of Classics

RUTH S. SCODEL
Professor, University of Michigan at Ann Arbor - Department of Classical Studies