2004
Volume 54 Number 1
  • ISSN: 0165-8204
  • E-ISSN: 2667-1573

Abstract

Abstract

This article is an introduction to a group of Ancient Greek inscriptions that may be called ‘ritual norms’ (also known as , ‘sacred laws’). These are epigraphical documents concerning rituals that are performed in the context of specific cults, and which are of a prescriptive character. The article discusses three key questions. In the first part of the article I aim to answer a basic question: what are ritual norms? The second question concerns the function of ritual norms. The third part of the article is about the way in which ritual norms acquire authority. How were they considered legitimate and enforceable? A separate section concerning authority is reserved for the use of tradition (anchoring and anchoring innovation) in this genre.

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