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On Greek Religion

Author: Robert Parker
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801462016
Size: 45.37 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.

Hesiod And Aeschylus

Author: Friedrich Solmsen
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801466709
Size: 31.65 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.

Animal Minds And Human Morals

Author: Richard Sorabji
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801482984
Size: 21.16 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.

The Mourning Voice

Author: Nicole Loraux
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801438301
Size: 44.87 MB
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Loraux presents a radical challenge to what has become the dominant view of tragedy in recent years: that tragedy is primarily a civic phenomenon.

Polytheism And Society At Athens

Author: Robert Parker
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 0199274835
Size: 42.41 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.

A Compulsion For Antiquity

Author: Richard H. Armstrong
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 9780801473333
Size: 37.29 MB
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"If psychoanalysis is the return of repressed antiquity, distorted to be sure by modern desire, yet still bearing the telltale traces of the ancient archive, then would not our growing distance from the archive of antiquity also imply that we are in the process of losing our grip on psychoanalysis itself, as Freud conceived it?"—from Chapter 1As he developed his striking new science of the mind, Sigmund Freud had frequent recourse to ancient culture and the historical disciplines that draw on it. A Compulsion for Antiquity fully explores how Freud appropriated figures and themes from classical mythology and how the theory and practice of psychoanalysis paralleled contemporary developments in historiography, archaeology, philology, and the history of religions. Drawing extensively from Freud's private correspondence and other notes and documents, Richard H. Armstrong touches on Freud's indebtedness to Sophocles and the Oedipus complex, his interest in Moses and the Jewish religion, and his travels to Athens and Rome.Armstrong shows how Freud turned to the ancient world to deal with the challenges posed by his own scientific ambitions and how these lessons influenced the way he handled psychic "evidence" and formulated the universal application of what were initially isolated clinical truths. Freud's narrative reconstructions of the past also related to his sense of Jewishness, linking the historical trajectory of psychoanalysis with contemporary central European Jewish culture. Ranging across the breadth of Freud's work, A Compulsion for Antiquity offers fresh insights into the roots of psychoanalysis and fin de siècle European culture, and makes an important contribution to the burgeoning discipline of mnemohistory.

Euripides Revolution Under Cover

Author: Pietro Pucci
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 1501704044
Size: 45.64 MB
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In this provocative book, Pietro Pucci explores what he sees as Euripides's revolutionary literary art. While scholars have long pointed to subversive elements in Euripides’s plays, Pucci goes a step further in identifying a Euripidean program of enlightened thought enacted through carefully wrought textual strategies. The driving force behind this program is Euripides’s desire to subvert the traditional anthropomorphic view of the Greek gods—a belief system that in his view strips human beings of their independence and ability to act wisely and justly. Instead of fatuous religious beliefs, Athenians need the wisdom and the strength to navigate the challenges and difficulties of life. Throughout his lifetime, Euripides found himself the target of intense criticism and ridicule. He was accused of promoting new ideas that were considered destructive. Like his contemporary, Socrates, he was considered a corrupting influence. No wonder, then, that Euripides had to carry out his revolution "under cover." Pucci lays out the various ways the playwright skillfully inserted his philosophical principles into the text through innovative strategies of plot development, language and composition, and production techniques that subverted the traditionally staged anthropomorphic gods.

Libanius The Sophist

Author: Raffaella Cribiore
Publisher: Cornell University Press
ISBN: 0801469074
Size: 38.56 MB
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Libanius of Antioch was a rhetorician of rare skill and eloquence. So renowned was he in the fourth century that his school of rhetoric in Roman Syria became among the most prestigious in the Eastern Empire. In this book, Raffaella Cribiore draws on her unique knowledge of the entire body of Libanius’s vast literary output—including 64 orations, 1,544 letters, and exercises for his students—to offer the fullest intellectual portrait yet of this remarkable figure whom John Chrystostom called “the sophist of the city." Libanius (314–ca. 393) lived at a time when Christianity was celebrating its triumph but paganism tried to resist. Although himself a pagan, Libanius cultivated friendships within Antioch’s Christian community and taught leaders of the Church including Chrysostom and Basil of Caesarea. Cribiore calls him a “gray pagan” who did not share the fanaticism of the Emperor Julian. Cribiore considers the role that a major intellectual of Libanius’s caliber played in this religiously diverse society and culture. When he wrote a letter or delivered an oration, who was he addressing and what did he hope to accomplish? One thing that stands out in Libanius’s speeches is the startling amount of invective against his enemies. How common was character assassination of this sort? What was the subtext to these speeches and how would they have been received? Adapted from the Townsend Lectures that Cribiore delivered at Cornell University in 2010, this book brilliantly restores Libanius to his rightful place in the rich and culturally complex world of Late Antiquity.