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On Greek Religion

Author: Robert Parker
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801462016
Size: 70.12 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 University Press
ISBN: 9780801482984
Size: 45.92 MB
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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.

Hesiod And Aeschylus

Author: Friedrich Solmsen
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801466709
Size: 39.59 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.

Polytheism And Society At Athens

Author: Robert Parker
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199274835
Size: 51.57 MB
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The first attempt that has ever been made to give a comprehensive account of the religious life of ancient Athens.

Miasma

Author: Robert Parker
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
ISBN:
Size: 22.55 MB
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Anyone who has sampled even a few of the most commonly read Greek texts will have encountered pollution. The pollution of bloodshed is a frequent theme of tragedy: Orestes is driven mad; Oedipus brings plague upon all Thebes. In historical texts we find cities intervening in the internalaffairs of others to `drive out the pollution', or making war on account of it. Political orators represent their opponents as polluting demons. Purity is a constant concern in ritual texts, and any Greek underwent many small purifications in his everyday life. Certain abnormal religiousmovements of the archaic age made `purification' the path to felicity in the afterlife. First published in hardback in 1983, Miasma is the first work in English to treat this theme in detail.

On Roman Religion

Author: Jorg Rupke
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 1501706799
Size: 13.64 MB
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Was religious practice in ancient Rome cultic and hostile to individual expression? Or was there, rather, considerable latitude for individual initiative and creativity? Jorg Rupke, one of the world's leading authorities on Roman religion, demonstrates in his new book that it was a lived religion with individual appropriations evident at the heart of such rituals as praying, dedicating, making vows, and reading. On Roman Religion definitively dismantles previous approaches that depicted religious practice as uniform and static. Juxtaposing very different, strategic, and even subversive forms of individuality with traditions, their normative claims, and their institutional protections, Rupke highlights the dynamic character of Rome’s religious institutions and traditions. In Rupke’s view, lived ancient religion is as much about variations or even outright deviance as it is about attempts and failures to establish or change rules and roles and to communicate them via priesthoods, practices related to images or classified as magic, and literary practices. Rupke analyzes observations of religious experience by contemporary authors including Propertius, Ovid, and the author of the "Shepherd of Hermas." These authors, in very different ways, reflect on individual appropriation of religion among their contemporaries, and they offer these reflections to their readership or audiences. Rupke also concentrates on the ways in which literary texts and inscriptions informed the practice of rituals.

Redefining Ancient Orphism

Author: Radcliffe G. Edmonds III
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 1107512603
Size: 80.60 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.