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5995Re: Greek Mystery Religions

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  • Caroline Tully
    Sep 5, 2007
      Hello Daniel, and Stephanie

      >>I am wondering if the expenses of progressing within the Eleusinian mysteries didn't mean that one's level within it reflected the status or class one had outside. (If you look at p. 78, footnote 4 it mentions that despite being open to both sexes women did not reach the highest positions.)<<

      But there were only 2 "grades" to get to. There were two stages of initiation into the Greater Mysteries: the first and main one was the telete or myesis, and the second which was optional was the epopteia. I do believe that women did both. I don't recall reading anything that said they did not. Although the most important Eleusinian *officiant* was male - the Hierophant - I believe the priestesses involved in the Eleusinian rites were also important. However intiates did not *become* cult officials through their initiation(s). While I believe one could attend the mysteries more than once, and help out there, initiation didn't turn the initiate into a priest or priestess - if that is what you mean by "reaching the highest positions". The cult officials belonged to two families who ran the rites, initiates just went through the initations, the purpose of which was to improve their lot in the afterlife.

      ~Caroline Tully.

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