The Cult of Zeus Lykaios
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The intention of the paper is to characterize the Arcadian cult of Zeus Lykaios as practiced on Mount Lykaion. On the basis of various evidence related to the cult of Zeus Lykaios (etymology, archaeological material, mythical and literary tradition) it is argued that this cult originated from and continued the worship of the Indo-European god of the clear sky, while the concept of him as a storm-deity was added in historical times. The absence of any material evidence for the nature of Zeus Lykaios as a wolf suggests that the stories about lykanthropy, which were associated with Mount Lykaion, should be understood as an indication of a special character of the priesthood of this god as well as of the worship of a wolf-deity by an Arcadian community.
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