Speech on Minoan Religion During the Bronze Age

Essay by elm June 2004

download word file, 4 pages 0.0

Downloaded 30 times

The most obvious cause of inadequacy in our understanding of Minoan Religion is the lack of scriptures, prayers and recorded religious texts. What we are left with however is a mass of often chaotic archaeological evidence, found in their shrines, places of worship, ranging statues and art; more specifically their pottery, seals, murals and frescoes.

This state resigns almost all conclusions to educated guesses, and on occasion radical unsupported guesses. Though some things are clearly evident in the masses of archaeological evidence. Interpretations and outside knowledge (more over, that of the characteristics of later religions in the area, as well as religions in the area which were concurrent) are an integral reason for the conclusions that have been reached.

Unfortunately this leaves us with a cryptic understanding of the religious affairs and nature of religion in Minoan society.

Minoan religion is filled with unique characteristics, namely; the seemingly matriarchal and polytheistic features prominent in the remains of the society.

To offer a definition, a Matriarchal Religion is one consisting purely of female deities. In Minoan Religion Male Deities are not observed until the late period, and, when displayed in the same scenes as female deities they typically lack any holy quality, also in representations of an individual male deity they are portrayed on a far less grand scale than their female counterparts, making them at the very least wholly minor if not almost entirely insignificant.

A youthful (that is. beardless) male is occasionally depicted on seals standing between "horns of consecration" or posing as a Master of Animals.

In addition

A tiny figure standing behind a figure-of-eight shield in the air above a series of much larger female figures is sometimes identified as a male divinity

Polytheism, meaning worship of multiple deities, allowed for an interesting collection of Deities in...