Rituals developed by ancient Greeks to sustain relationships with their gods was discussed by Kevin Glowacki, assistant professor of architecture at Texas A&M, Oct. 9 at the San Antonio Museum of Art.
Glowacki focused on a sanctuary and architectural remains of Aphrodite and her son Eros, gods of love, marriage and fertility, on the north slope of the Acropolis in Athens.
“The open-air sanctuary is an instructive example of a less formal or ‘popular’ shrine, where the ancient Athenians made dedications of sculpted reliefs, marble statuettes, and terracotta figurines,” said Glowacki.
He presented an analysis of the three main types of rituals performed at the sanctuary, intended to create and sustain personal relations between mortals and their gods: prayer, sacrifice and dedication.
As gods of love, marriage, and fertility, Aphrodite and her son Eros played important roles in the daily lives of the ancient Greeks, and their worship ranged from state-sponsored festivals to simple sacrifices and offerings made by individual men and women.
Glowacki’s appearance was part of “Aphrodite and the Gods of Love,” a Sept. 15, 2012 – Feb. 17, 2013 exhibit at the museum.
The exhibition reveals the ancient goddess in her roles as instigator of sexual desire, patroness of brides, seafarers and warriors, agent of political harmony, adulterous seductress, and mother to mischievous Eros.
Glowacki, recipient of the 2001 Award of Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching from the Archaeological Institute of America, specializes in Classical and Near Eastern art and archaeology.