Over the last 50 years, women as ritual agents in the ancient world have increasingly become the subject of scholarly scrutiny. While the reasons for this are manifold, two crucial dimensions can be highlighted: fi rst and foremost, religion is the major sphere where women in antiquity left evidence of their activities; second, ritual itself continues to be an object of intense scholarly attention both within and outside of the fi eld of Classics, not only, but perhaps especially, since Frazer published his Golden Bough (1925) on ritual. These two dimensions, combined with broader historical dynamics, have developed both separately and together – the one informing the other and vice versa.