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On Greek Religion

Author: Robert Parker
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801462016
Size: 65.47 MB
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"There is something of a paradox about our access to ancient Greek religion. We know too much, and too little. The materials that bear on it far outreach an individual's capacity to assimilate: so many casual allusions in so many literary texts over more than a millennium, so many direct or indirect references in so many inscriptions from so many places in the Greek world, such an overwhelming abundance of physical remains. But genuinely revealing evidence does not often cluster coherently enough to create a vivid sense of the religious realities of a particular time and place. Amid a vast archipelago of scattered islets of information, only a few are of a size to be habitable."-from the Preface In On Greek Religion, Robert Parker offers a provocative and wide-ranging entrée into the world of ancient Greek religion, focusing especially on the interpretive challenge of studying a religious system that in many ways remains desperately alien from the vantage point of the twenty-first century. One of the world's leading authorities on ancient Greek religion, Parker raises fundamental methodological questions about the study of this vast subject. Given the abundance of evidence we now have about the nature and practice of religion among the ancient Greeks-including literary, historical, and archaeological sources-how can we best exploit that evidence and agree on the central underlying issues? Is it possible to develop a larger, "unified" theoretical framework that allows for coherent discussions among archaeologists, anthropologists, literary scholars, and historians? In seven thematic chapters, Parker focuses on key themes in Greek religion: the epistemological basis of Greek religion; the relation of ritual to belief; theories of sacrifice; the nature of gods and heroes; the meaning of rituals, festivals, and feasts; and the absence of religious authority. Ranging across the archaic, classical, and Hellenistic periods, he draws on multiple disciplines both within and outside classical studies. He also remains sensitive to varieties of Greek religious experience. Also included are five appendixes in which Parker applies his innovative methodological approach to particular cases, such as the acceptance of new gods and the consultation of oracles. On Greek Religion will stir debate for its bold questioning of disciplinary norms and for offering scholars and students new points of departure for future research.

Animal Minds And Human Morals

Author: Richard Sorabji
Publisher: Cornell Univ Pr
ISBN: 9780801429484
Size: 38.88 MB
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"They don't have syntax, so we can eat them." According to Richard Sorabji, this conclusion attributed to the Stoic philosophers was based on Aristotle's argument that animals lack reason. In his fascinating, deeply learned book, Sorabji traces the roots of our thinking about animals back to Aristotelian and Stoic beliefs. Charting a recurrent theme in ancient philosophy of mind, he shows that today's controversies about animal rights represent only the most recent chapter in millennia-old debates. Sorabji surveys a vast range of Greek philosophical texts and considers how classical discussions of animals' capacities intersect with central questions, not only in ethics but in the definition of human rationality as well: the nature of concepts; how perceptions differ from beliefs; how memory, intention, and emotion relate to reason; and to what extent speech, skills, and inference can serve as proofs of reason. Focusing on the significance of ritual sacrifice and the eating of meat, he explores religious contexts of the treatment of animals in ancient Greece and in medieval Western Christendom. He also looks closely at the contemporary defenses of animal rights offered by Peter Singer, Tom Regan, and Mary Midgley. Animal Minds and Human Morals sheds new light on traditional arguments surrounding the status of animals while pointing beyond them to current moral dilemmas. It will be crucial reading for scholars and students in the fields of ancient philosophy, ethics, history of philosophy, classics, and medieval studies, and for everyone seriously concerned about our relationship with other species.

Redefining Ancient Orphism

Author: Radcliffe G. Edmonds III
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107512603
Size: 71.53 MB
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This book examines the fragmentary and contradictory evidence for Orpheus as the author of rites and poems to redefine Orphism as a label applied polemically to extra-ordinary religious phenomena. Replacing older models of an Orphic religion, this richer and more complex model provides insight into the boundaries of normal and abnormal Greek religion. The study traces the construction of the category of 'Orphic' from its first appearances in the Classical period, through the centuries of philosophical and religious polemics, especially in the formation of early Christianity and again in the debates over the origins of Christianity in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. A paradigm shift in the study of Greek religion, this study provides scholars of classics, early Christianity, ancient religion and philosophy with a new model for understanding the nature of ancient Orphism, including ideas of afterlife, cosmogony, sacred scriptures, rituals of purification and initiation, and exotic mythology.

Autopsy In Athens

Author: Margaret M. Miles
Publisher: Oxbow Books
ISBN: 1782978569
Size: 52.48 MB
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This is an exciting time to study in Athens. The “rescue” excavations of recent years, conducted during construction of the Metro system and in preparation for the 2004 Olympics Games, combined with major restoration projects and a new enthusiasm for fresh examination of old material, using new techniques and applications, brings new perspectives and answers on many aspects of the ancient city of Athens and life, politics and religion in Attica. The 15 papers presented here contribute new findings that result from intensive, firsthand examinations of the archaeological and epigraphical evidence. They illustrate how much may be gained by reexamining material from older excavations, and from the methodological shift from documenting information to closer analysis and larger historical reflection. They offer a variety of perspectives on a range of issues: the ambiance of the ancient city for passersby, filled with roadside shrines; techniques of architectural construction and sculpting; religious expression in Athens including cults of Asklepios and Serapis; the precise procedures for Greek sacrifice; how the borders of Attica were defined over time, and details of its road-system. In presenting this volume the contributors are continuing in a long tradition of autopsy – in the sense of 'personal observation' – in Athens, that began even in the Hellenistic period and has continued through the writings of centuries of travelers and academics to the present day.

Hesiod And Aeschylus

Author: Friedrich Solmsen
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801482748
Size: 43.52 MB
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This book, first published in 1949, has long been recognized as the standard work on Hesiod's influence on other Athenian poets, particularly Aeschylus.

Jefferson S Demons

Author: Michael Knox Beran
Publisher: Simon and Schuster
ISBN: 9781439138151
Size: 55.23 MB
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"I have often wondered for what good end the sensations of Grief could be intended." -- Thomas Jefferson Thomas Jefferson suffered during his life from periodic bouts of dejection and despair, shadowed intervals during which he was full of "gloomy forebodings" about what lay ahead. Not long before he composed the Declaration of Independence, the young Jefferson lay for six weeks in idleness and ill health at Monticello, paralyzed by a mysterious "malady." Similar lapses were to recur during anxious periods in his life, often accompanied by violent headaches. In Jefferson's Demons, Michael Knox Beran illuminates an optimistic man's darker side -- Jefferson as we have rarely seen him before. The worst of these moments came after his wife died in 1782. But two years later, after being dispatched to Europe, Jefferson recovered nerve and spirit in the salons of Paris, where he fell in love with a beautiful young artist, Maria Cosway. When their affair ended, Jefferson's health again broke down. He set out for the palms and temples of southern Europe, and though he did not know where the therapeutic journey would take him or where it would end, his encounter with the old civilizations of the Mediterranean was transformative. The Greeks and Romans taught him that a man could make productive use of his demons. Jefferson's immersion in the mystic truths of the Old World gave him insights into mysteries of life and art that Enlightenment philosophy had failed to supply. Beran skillfully shows how Jefferson drew on the esoteric lore he encountered to transform anxiety into action. On his return to America, Jefferson entered the most productive period of his life: He created a new political party, was elected president, and doubled the size of the country. His private labors were no less momentous...among them, the artistry of Monticello and the University of Virginia. Jefferson's Demons is an elegantly composed account of the strangeness and originality of one Founder's genius. Michael Knox Beran uncovers the maps Jefferson used to find his way out of dejection and to forge a new democratic culture for America. Here is a Jefferson who, with all his failings, remains one of his country's greatest teachers and prophets.

Greek Comedy Hellenistic Literature Greek Religion And Miscellanea

Author: Hugh Lloyd-Jones
Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
ISBN:
Size: 49.24 MB
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This book collects thirty-eight papers by the great classicist to commemorate his recent retirement as Regius Professor of Greek at Oxford. The papers, some of which were originally published in foreign journals and appear here in translation for the first time, reflect his interest in the fields of Greek comedy, Hellenistic literature, Greek religion, and Greek culture in general.