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date: 28 January 2023

trees, sacredlocked

trees, sacredlocked

  • Sam Eitrem,
  • Johan Harm Croon,
  • B. C. Dietrich
  •  and Alan A. D. Peatfield


Trees have been involved in cult in the Aegean world since the bronze age (see religion, minoan and mycenaean). They perhaps symbolized the renewal of life, appearing as central features in a sanctuary or associated with anthropomorphic deities. The (probably genuine) ring of Nestor shows a Tree of Life (for which notion see G. Zuntz, Persephone (1971), 386 ff.). Sometimes single boughs stand inside the horns of consecration (e.g. Psychro plaque). The tree continued in Classical cult: *Dionysus stands before a Minoan-type tree sanctuary on a red-figure vase from *Gela. He received cult as Dendritēs, Endendros (both names derived from the Greek for ‘tree’) throughout Greece (Plut.Quaest. conv.675), although he specialized in the cultivation of the vine. At Symi in Crete *Hermes Kedrites emerged from bronze age cult: he is shown sitting in a tree which represented the force of life and vegetation. The same significance may in part lie behind the curious myths of *Helendendritis, who was hanged from a tree in *Rhodes (Paus.


  • Greek Myth and Religion

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