Vessels of the Gods : Women’s Bodies, Sexuality, and Suffering within Greco-Roman Prophecy
With theology, religion, and belief, prophecy is often present at the forefront. Yet, often in sociological, religious, and historical studies of women’s divination, the focus is not on the women themselves, but rather on the overarching power dynamics they are speaking their prophecies into. While this is an important and necessary look into women’s divination, it often decenters the female diviners and their experiences, instead reading into how they never truly gained any power at all. While this paper does take the necessary viewpoint of these power struggles and dynamics and is not quick to dismiss them, I will attempt to re-center the divination and experiences of female diviners in Ancient Greece, and how they ultimately suffer in a sphere where they should be able to gain some authority. Throughout history, despite religious authority falling so often on men, women have often been deemed vessels of the gods or spirits –– being spoken through, giving their prophecies. Women are the perfect vessels, not only for the gods and other beings to possess, but also to display human suffering; as a group marginalized by society but still a more relatable display to Greek men than slaves, women’s natural suffering and lack of control was the perfect vessel to showcase the same feelings that mankind felt towards the gods.
ii, 45 p.
Kalamazoo, Mich. : Kalamazoo College
U.S. copyright laws protect this material. Commercial use or distribution of this material is not permitted without prior written permission of the copyright holder.