The Eleusinian Mysteries in Pre-platonic Thought. Metaphor, Practise and Imagery for Plato’s Symposium

In Vishwa Adluri (ed.), Greek Religion, Philosophy and Salvation. de Gruyter. pp. 151-190 (2013)

Authors
Barbara Michaela Sattler
University of St. Andrews
Abstract
This is part of a two-paper project to show in detail in ways that have not been attempted before that, in the Symposium, Plato uses the language and metaphors of the Eleusinian Mysteries as a template for the ascent to the Form of Beauty; and also to explain why he might have chosen to do so. The standard accounts of the Eleusinian Mysteries come from sources that have themselves been influenced by Plato and hence are unsuitable to demonstrating the extent of his exploitation of the Mysteries. This first paper offers a reconstruction of what can be known about the Eleusian Mysteries with the help of Pre-Platonic sources, by looking at material culture, archaeological remains, and pre-Platonic literature.
Keywords Symposium  Eleusis  Ascent  Forms
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