"Mother Goddesses" and the Evolution of the Greek Pantheon

Lilly Hinckley Butler University
Faculty Sponsor(s): Scott Swanson Butler University
In this presentation, I will explore the transition which took place in ancient Greece between 2000 BC and 1000 BC, whereby the worship of a single “Mother Goddess” was replaced by the Classical Greek pantheon. I will argue that the ancient Greeks (at least before 2000 BC) worshiped a single Mother Goddess and that the religion of classical Greece with its host of gods and goddesses is actually a hybrid product born of the union between two groups: the inhabitants of southern Greece (specifically the Minoans) and northern invaders. Looking at archaeological evidence, the opinions of other scholars, and literary sources (including Homer, Hesoid, and Plato), I hope to offer a possible explanation for the demise of “Mother Goddess” worship in Greece, while simultaneously addressing the questions: How can understanding ancient religions help us reconstruct the societies in which they flourished? How does the meaning of symbols change over time? And how do the stories we tell shape the realities in which we live?
Oral Presentation

When & Where

01:30 PM
Jordan Hall 203