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Chiara Di Serio Department of Classics and Philosophy, University of Cyprus, Cyprus

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Abstract

This article focuses on two stories contained in Deipnosophists 15 by Athenaeus of Naucratis. Both stories are comprised in the section in which Athenaeus discusses the use of crowns in festive rituals. Athenaeus attributes the first story (672a–e) to Menodotus of Samos. Here we read that some Tyrrhenians went to Samos to steal the simulacrum of Hera. But, having boarded the ship with the statue, they were unable to set sail. Thus, they unloaded the simulacrum on the shore and left. Then the heroine Admete retrieved it and took it back to the temple. For this reason, every year since then, the inhabitants of Samos celebrated the feasts called Tonaia in honor of Hera. The second story, that Athenaeus draws from Polycarmus of Naucratis (675f–676b), tells of a certain Herostratus who, on his return journey from Cyprus to Naucratis, was saved from a storm thanks to the sailors' prayers to the statue of Aphrodite on board. Thereafter, Herostratus prepared a banquet at the temple of the goddess to honor her. These stories introduce the recurring motif, also found in other sources, of travelling divine statues, which display supernatural powers.

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