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Classical Olbia and the Scythian WorldFrom the Sixth Century BC to the Second Century AD$
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David Braund and S D Kryzhitskiy

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780197264041

Published to British Academy Scholarship Online: January 2012

DOI: 10.5871/bacad/9780197264041.001.0001

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Religious Interactions between Olbia and Scythia

Religious Interactions between Olbia and Scythia

(p.93) Religious Interactions between Olbia and Scythia
Classical Olbia and the Scythian World


British Academy

This chapter aims not to provide a complete reconstruction of the religious interactions between the Greeks of Olbia and the people of Scythia, its aim rather is to provide an overview of the key aspects of the religious interactions between Olbia and Scythia as embodied in the interpretations of the different sources from the late archaic period and classical periods. It discusses the close contacts of the Greeks and the nomads of Scythia and their influences upon the religious beliefs of one another. The Greeks imposed great influences upon the religious beliefs of the non-Greeks. The notable of which is the solar associations of Apollo and his role as an archer which gained approval and acceptance to the outlooks of the Scythians who could identify with him deities of their own. Although they adapted some of the concepts of the Greek religious beliefs, Scythians remained true to their own traditions and beliefs. The Olbia populace on the other hand, did not accept any of the religious practices and beliefs of the nomadic Scythians except for the burials of women who had been brought from the north.

Keywords:   religious interactions, Greeks of Olbia, Scythia, late archaic period, classical periods, nomads of Scythia, religious beliefs, non-Greeks, Apollo, burials of women

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