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The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of AsiaA Study of Sovereignty in Ancient Religion$
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Mark Munn and Michael Rose

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780520243491

Published to California Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1525/california/9780520243491.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
The Mother of the Gods, Athens, and the Tyranny of Asia

Mark Munn

University of California Press

This introductory chapter presents an overview of the history and myth surrounding the worship of the Mother of the Gods during the classical Greek era, and how these concepts shaped classical Athenian society and politics. It also presents the contents of each of the chapter contained in this book. The early chapters of this book consider the influences exerted over the Greeks chiefly by the kingdom of the Lydians. In the period covered in the second half of the book, Asiatic sovereignty is represented by the empire of the Persians. As the Athenians take the lead in Greek opposition to Persia, the influence of religion in shaping expressions of Athenian identity is traced. Kingdoms, empires, and states, like Persia and Athens, that asserted various and sometimes conflicting claims to sovereignty or autonomy did so in reference to concepts of the relationship between human dominion and the principles that gave order to this world.

Keywords:   classical era, Persian empire, maternal deities, Athenian democracy, Athens, Greece, Lydia

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