In this fresh consideration of the origins of the ancient Greeks' ideas and practices concerning their own past, Carla M. Antonaccio demonstrates that hero cult and ancestor cult persisted, throughout the Iron Age, long before epic poetry's heroic narratives were widely disseminated. Although it was not until the dissolution of Iron Age societies that epic poetry and organized hero cult developed to aid claims to legitimacy, practices such as visiting tombs to make offerings were common, and contradict the usual picture of Iron Age religious conservatism.
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