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Subject: Religion

The theory or belief that God does not exist. The word comes (in the late 16th century, via French) from Greek atheos, from a- ‘without’ + theos ‘god’.

holy men, pagan

holy men, pagan   Reference library

Richard L. Gordon

The Oxford Dictionary of Late Antiquity

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...skills—maintaining a balance between asceticism , control of the marvellous (especially divinatory powers), and the promulgation of traditional ethical values. The penalty for failure was to be accused of thaumatopoeia (‘mere wonder-working’), atheotes (‘godlessness, atheism’), asebeia (‘impiety’), and goeteia (magical practice). Lucian attacks Peregrinus on grounds of mere showmanship; Philostratus defends Apollonius of Tyana on all these counts. The Cynics provided models of ascetic virtue widely appropriated under the Empire from Nero to...

Late Period

Late Period   Reference library

The Oxford Encyclopedia of Ancient Egypt

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...sense. He gets drunk at night, but makes the point to a visiting Greek that this releases tension, like an archer who relaxes his bowstring to make it more efficient. He is not exactly reverent toward the niceties of religion, but he is careful not to give the impression of atheism or hostility. This is not a purely Greek tradition, however, as is well shown by a Demotic tale which features Amasis drinking on a heroic scale in defiance of his courtiers' advice. (This is in fact a parody of the well-known New Kingdom genre known as the Königsnovelle .) The...