The focus of this book is the reconstruction of the mythicoritual nexus in Kios in Mysia through the in-depth investigation of the evidence (surviving in accounts by, and so shaped by the filters of, outsiders) and also of other issues implicated in its Problematik: ethnicity, cultural and religious interactions between Greeks and non-Greeks, colonial discourses (with special emphasis on the foundation mythopea of Kios’ mother city, Miletos), the nature and functions of the Nymphs, the different personalities of Dionysos, advent festivals, certain problematic categories of cult recipients.
Hylas’ myth and ritual had been constructed, through complex interactions between several mythicoritual schemata and included also elements that appear in non-Greek nexuses located in the area of Kios. The myth was both a foundation myth constructing cultural continuity with the heroic age and an immortalization myth: a Greek youth was abducted by Nymphs and became a diety rooted to the landscape and symbolically rooting the colony to the land; it established a poliouchos figure unique to Kios, connected Herakles with the city’s foundation, and articulated a relationship of cooperation and integration between Greeks and Non-Greeks. A ritual celebrated Hylas’ advent and commemorated the events that had led to Kios’ foundation, articulating a cooperative relationship between Greeks and locals.
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