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date: 18 November 2017

Summary and Keywords

Gold Tablets is the collective name for a more or less coherent group of about thirty Greek texts, written on very thin and small gold foil and placed on the body of a deceased; they come from all over the Greek world and date between the late 5th century BCE and the 2nd century CE, with a peak in Hellenistic times. Originally, they were connected with Orphism, then with Pythagoreanism or, more convincingly, with the mystery cult of Dionysus; recent finds however have demonstrated the problematic nature of a narrow definition of their religious affiliation. The article discusses the various forms of these texts, their religious function and the history of scholarship about them.

Keywords: Gold Tablets, underworld, Orphic cult, Bacchic mysteries, Totenpass

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