The Protectoresses

Neil MacGregor's series on the role and expression of beliefs continues this week with a focus on images.

In Mexico, the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe came not from the hand of an artist, but was directly given from heaven - according to its history. Our Lady of Guadalupe is now the most powerful of presiding images, and the Basilica of Guadalupe near Mexico City is said to be the most visited Roman Catholic pilgrimage site in the world.

The sanctuary of the goddess Artemis in the great trading city of Ephesus, now in western Turkey, was by far the most celebrated temple of the antique Mediterranean, and the cult of Artemis spread eastwards towards the Black Sea, and westwards towards Spain. Artemis was thought to protect the vulnerable at their moments of greatest personal danger.

Neil MacGregor also visits a shrine devoted to a woman sometimes perceived as a contemporary protectoress.

Producer Paul Kobrak

The series is produced in partnership with the British Museum, with the assistance of Dr Christopher Harding, University of Edinburgh.
Photograph (c) The Trustees of the British Museum.

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15 minutes

Last on

Mon 13 Nov 2017 19:45

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