Moving out from a particular problem about a particular Athenian festival, the late Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood investigates central questions concerning Athenian festivals and the myths that underlay them. She studies the role played at festivals by hereditary religious associations, showing how simple actions of undressing, veiling, bathing, and re-dressing a statue created a symbolic drama of abnormality, reversion to primeval time, and renewal for the Athenians. Sourvinou-Inwood also offers a reading of the ever controversial Parthenon frieze. Her book, brought to completion by Robert Parker, displays all the attention to detail and the concern for methodological rigour that have made her an iconic figure among students of Greek religion.
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