Shrine of Nymphe

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Description

The Shrine of Nymphe was located on the south side of the Akropolis Rock (directly in front of the later Odeion of Herodes Atticus). This shrine played an important role in the marriage customs. Indeed, nymphe is the name given to the bride during a marriage.

The precinct of the shrine was probably quite large. An archaic altar of unworked stones was erected around 637 BC. The shrine proper was a small ellipsoid building some 12.50 m by 10.50 m. It was probably erected around 460 BC.

Several loutrophoroi were found in the precinct. These were typical dedications made by unmarried girls. On the day of the marriage, the bride washed herself with water brought from the Kallirrhoe spring in a loutrophoros. This vase was later brought to the Shrine of the Nymphe as a dedication.

References

Camp, John M.; The Archaeology of Athens, Yale University Press, 2001, p. 123

Travlos, John, Pictorial dictionary of Ancient Athens, Books that matter, New York, 1971, p. 361

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