n Acta Classica : Proceedings of the Classical Association of South Africa - Philostratus' : Protesilaos, Achilles and Palamedes unite in defence of the Greek world

Volume 57, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0065-1141
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Philostratus' is a dialogue between a vinedresser, tending the sanctuary of the hero, Protesilaos, and a Phoenician merchant. By reading this dialogue in tandem with the , which includes several notable instances engaging with the hero-cult, Philostratus' opinion of this traditional form of Greek worship, and of the Eastern mystery cults as well, becomes clear. Philostratus initially expresses his displeasure at the religious of his time through his character of Apollonius of Tyana, a time when mystery cultism was beginning to overthrow the ancient rites of the Olympian deities with its individualistic approach to belief. This article argues that together, these two works provide evidence of a call by Philostratus to renew the worship of the old Homeric heroes as a viable replacement for the declining rites of the Olympian gods, and as an attack on mystery rites as foreign intrusions on the religious landscape.

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