Ancient sources and modern scholars have often represented the
Athenian festival of Adonis as a marginal and faintly ridiculous
private women's ritual. Seeds were planted each year in pots and,
once sprouted, carried to the rooftops, where women lamented the
death of Aphrodite's youthful consort Adonis. Laurialan Reitzammer
resourcefully examines a wide array of surviving evidence about the
Adonia, arguing for its symbolic importance in fifth- and
fourth-century Athenian culture as an occasion for gendered
commentary on mainstream Athenian practices. Reitzammer uncovers
correlations of the Adonia to Athenian wedding rituals and civic
funeral oration and provides illuminating evidence that the
festival was a significant cultural template for such diverse works
as Aristophanes' drama Lysistrata and Plato's dialogue Phaedrus.
Her fresh approach is a timely contribution to studies of the ways
gender and sexuality intersect with religion and ritual in ancient
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