This simple, but charming figure probably represents the goddess Demeter or her daughter Persephone. These deities were associated with growth and fertility and the cycle of life and death. An integral part of civic religion, their worship especially involved women and also had more personal, individual aspects. Greek religion was based on securing or maintaining the favour of the gods through ritual actions and not on sacred texts or beliefs. The figure, through its association with the famous myth of Persephone, offers the opportunity to open up the ways in which religion permeated every aspect of life in ancient Greece.
Tanagra, Boiotia, Greece
about 580 BC
height: 21 cm
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