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Ritual and meaning: Contextualising votive terracotta infants in Hellenistic Italy

Glinister, Fay 2017. Ritual and meaning: Contextualising votive terracotta infants in Hellenistic Italy. Draycott, Jane and Graham, Emma-Jayne, eds. Bodies of Evidence: Ancient Anatomical Votives Past, Present and Future, London: Routledge, pp. 131-146. (10.4324/9781315096193)

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This chapter aims to offer some speculation on avenues of research which may provide insight into this type of offering and its place in the wider practice of votive religion in Hellenistic Italy. There is no literary evidence for any sacred ritual at which swaddling bands were put aside, but the end of the swaddling phase seems a significant point in a child's development. L. Calpurnius Piso Frugi had held the censorship himself it shows that both start and conclusion of childhood were marked by parallel rituals conducted by the family but very much in a public context. In Hellenistic-period Italy the custom is attested by terracotta votive statuettes representing infants wrapped in bands of fabric. They form part of a category of votive offering which also includes terracotta models of human internal and external body parts, veiled and unveiled heads and statuettes of humans and animals.

Item Type: Book Section
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: History, Archaeology and Religion
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781315096193
Last Modified: 23 Nov 2023 16:55

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