Polytheism and Society at Athens

Author: Robert Parker

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 9780199216116

Category: History

Page: 576

View: 1546

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This book is the first attempt that has ever been made to give a comprehensive account of the religious life of ancient Athens. The city's many festivals are discussed in detail, with attention to recent anthropological theory; so too, for instance, are the cults of households and of smaller groups, the role of religious practice and argumentation in public life, the authority of priests, the activities of religious professionals such as seers and priestesses, magic, the place of theatrical representations of the gods within public attitudes to the divine. A long final section considers the sphere of activity of the various gods, and takes Athens as a uniquely detailed test case for the structuralist approach to polytheism. The work is a synchronic, thematically organized complement (though designed to be read independently) to the same author's Athenian Religion: A History (Oxford 1996).
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Polytheism and Society at Athens

Author: Robert Parker

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199274835

Category: History

Page: 544

View: 1766

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The first attempt that has ever been made to give a comprehensive account of the religious life of ancient Athens.
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Greek Gods Abroad

Names, Natures, and Transformations

Author: Robert Parker

Publisher: Univ of California Press

ISBN: 0520967259

Category: History

Page: 261

View: 9123

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From even before the time of Alexander the Great, the Greek gods spread throughout the Mediterranean, carried by settlers and largely adopted by the indigenous populations. By the third century b.c., gods bearing Greek names were worshipped everywhere from Spain to Afghanistan, with the resulting religious systems a variable blend of Greek and indigenous elements. Greek Gods Abroad examines the interaction between Greek religion and the cultures of the eastern Mediterranean with which it came into contact. Robert Parker shows how Greek conventions for naming gods were extended and adapted and provides bold new insights into religious and psychological values across the Mediterranean. The result is a rich portrait of ancient polytheism as it was practiced over 600 years of history.
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On Greek Religion

Author: Robert Parker

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 9780801462016

Category: History

Page: 328

View: 1758

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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.
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Children in the Hellenistic World

Statues and Representation

Author: Olympia Bobou

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 0199683050

Category: Art

Page: 456

View: 2824

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Based on the author's thesis (doctoral)--University of Oxford, 2006 issed under the title: Statues of children in the Hellenistic period.
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Edinburgh Companion to the History of Democracy

Author: Benjamin Isakhan

Publisher: Edinburgh University Press

ISBN: 0748653686

Category: History

Page: 384

View: 8273

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Re-examines the long and complex history of democracy and broadens the traditional view of this history by complementing it with examples from unexplored or under-examined quarters.
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The Parthenon Enigma

Author: Joan Breton Connelly

Publisher: Vintage

ISBN: 0385350503

Category: History

Page: 512

View: 2579

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Built in the fifth century b.c., the Parthenon has been venerated for more than two millennia as the West’s ultimate paragon of beauty and proportion. Since the Enlightenment, it has also come to represent our political ideals, the lavish temple to the goddess Athena serving as the model for our most hallowed civic architecture. But how much do the values of those who built the Parthenon truly correspond with our own? And apart from the significance with which we have invested it, what exactly did this marvel of human hands mean to those who made it? In this revolutionary book, Joan Breton Connelly challenges our most basic assumptions about the Parthenon and the ancient Athenians. Beginning with the natural environment and its rich mythic associations, she re-creates the development of the Acropolis—the Sacred Rock at the heart of the city-state—from its prehistoric origins to its Periklean glory days as a constellation of temples among which the Parthenon stood supreme. In particular, she probes the Parthenon’s legendary frieze: the 525-foot-long relief sculpture that originally encircled the upper reaches before it was partially destroyed by Venetian cannon fire (in the seventeenth century) and most of what remained was shipped off to Britain (in the nineteenth century) among the Elgin marbles. The frieze’s vast enigmatic procession—a dazzling pageant of cavalrymen and elders, musicians and maidens—has for more than two hundred years been thought to represent a scene of annual civic celebration in the birthplace of democracy. But thanks to a once-lost play by Euripides (the discovery of which, in the wrappings of a Hellenistic Egyptian mummy, is only one of this book’s intriguing adventures), Connelly has uncovered a long-buried meaning, a story of human sacrifice set during the city’s mythic founding. In a society startlingly preoccupied with cult ritual, this story was at the core of what it meant to be Athenian. Connelly reveals a world that beggars our popular notions of Athens as a city of staid philosophers, rationalists, and rhetoricians, a world in which our modern secular conception of democracy would have been simply incomprehensible. The Parthenon’s full significance has been obscured until now owing in no small part, Connelly argues, to the frieze’s dismemberment. And so her investigation concludes with a call to reunite the pieces, in order that what is perhaps the greatest single work of art surviving from antiquity may be viewed more nearly as its makers intended. Marshalling a breathtaking range of textual and visual evidence, full of fresh insights woven into a thrilling narrative that brings the distant past to life, The Parthenon Enigma is sure to become a landmark in our understanding of the civilization from which we claim cultural descent.
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Demosthenes the Orator

Author: Douglas M. MacDowell

Publisher: OUP Oxford

ISBN: 0191608734

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 472

View: 7170

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In the most comprehensive account available of the texts of Demosthenes, Douglas M. MacDowell describes and assesses all of the great orator's speeches, including those for the lawcourts as well as the addresses to the Ekklesia. Besides the genuine speeches, MacDowell also covers those which have probably wrongly been ascribed to Demosthenes, such as the ones written for delivery by Apollodorus; and he considers too the Epistles, the Prooemia, and the puzzling Erotic Speech.
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The Art of Libation in Classical Athens

Author: Milette Gaifman

Publisher: Yale University Press

ISBN: 0300192274

Category: Art, Classical

Page: 196

View: 6429

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This handsome volume presents an innovative look at the imagery of libations, the most commonly depicted ritual in ancient Greece, and how it engaged viewers in religious performance. In a libation, liquid--water, wine, milk, oil, or honey--was poured from a vessel such as a jug or a bowl onto the ground, an altar, or another surface. Libations were made on occasions like banquets, sacrifices, oath-taking, departures to war, and visitations to tombs, and their iconography provides essential insight into religious and social life in 5th-century BC Athens. Scenes depicting the ritual often involved beholders directly--a statue's gaze might establish the onlooker as a fellow participant, or painted vases could draw parallels between human practices and acts of gods or heroes. Beautifully illustrated with a broad range of examples, including the Caryatids at the Acropolis, the Parthenon Frieze, Attic red-figure pottery, and funerary sculpture, this important book demonstrates the power of Greek art to transcend the boundaries between visual representation and everyday experience.
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