The Woman Holding a Liver from Mantineia: Female Manteis and Beyond
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Original versionIn: Østby, E. (ed.), Ancient Arcadia 2005: 77-91
A fragment of a life-size relief from Mantineia, now in the National Archaeological Museum of Athens (inv. no. 226), shows a woman with a liver in her hand traditionally interpreted as a priestess or a prophetess. This article maintains that it is an important piece of evidence in discussions of gender roles in ancient Greek society because it depicts a female mantis concerned with the inspection of the entrails of a sacrificial animal. Inscriptions from Larissa and Sparta show that this was not an exception but in all probability a widespread and common practice. Ancient and modern systems of classifying divinitory practices differ significantly.
Papers from the third international seminar on Ancient Arcadia, held at the Norwegian Institute at Athens, 7-10 May 2002
PublisherThe Norwegian Institute at Athens
SeriesPapers of the Norwegian Institute at Athens