Rituals of Death and Dying in Modern and Ancient Greece

Writing History from a Female Perspective

Author: Evy Johanne Håland

Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

ISBN: 1443868590

Category: History

Page: 690

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*Winner of the AFS Elli Köngäs-Maranda Prize 2016* Multidisciplinary or post-disciplinary research is what is needed when dealing with such complex subjects as ritual behaviour. This research, therefore, combines ethnography with historical sources to examine the relationship between modern Greek death rituals and ancient written and visual sources on the subject of death and gender. The central theme of this work is women’s role in connection with the cult of the dead in ancient and modern Greece. The research is based on studies in ancient history combined with the author’s fieldwork and anthropological analysis of today’s Mediterranean societies. Since death rituals have a focal and lasting importance, and reflect the gender relations within a society, the institutions surrounding death may function as a critical vantage point from which to view society. The comparison is based on certain religious festivals that are dedicated to deceased persons and on other death rituals. Using laments, burials and the ensuing memorial rituals, the relationship between the cult dedicated to deceased mediators in both ancient and modern society is analysed. The research shows how the official ideological rituals are influenced by the domestic rituals people perform for their own dead, and vice versa, that the modern domestic rituals simultaneously reflect the public performances. As this cult has many parallels with the ancient official cult, the following questions are central: Can an analysis of modern public and domestic rituals in combination with ancient sources tell the reader more about the ancient death cult as a whole? What does such an analysis suggest about the relationship between the domestic death cult and the official? Since the practical performance of the domestic rituals was – and still remains – in the hands of women, it is crucial to discover the extent of their influence to elucidate the real power relations between women and men. This research represents a new contribution to earlier presentations of the Greek “reality”, but mainly from the female perspective, which is highly significant since men produced most of the ancient sources. This means that the principal objective for this endeavour is to question the ways in which history has been written through the ages, to supplement the male with a female perspective, perhaps complementing an Olympian Zeus with a Chthonic Mother Earth. The research brings both ancient and modern worlds into mutual illumination; its relevance therefore transcends the Greek context both in time and space.
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Greek Whisky

The Localization of a Global Commodity

Author: Tryfon Bampilis

Publisher: Berghahn Books

ISBN: 0857458787

Category: Social Science

Page: 268

View: 2619

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In many contexts of Greek social life, Scotch whisky has coincidentally become a symbol of "Greekness," national identity, modernity, and the middle class. This ethnographic study follows the social life of Scotch in Greece through three distinct trajectories in time and space in order to investigate how the meanings of the beverage are projected, negotiated, and acquired by various different networks. By examining the mediascapes of the Greek cultural industry, the Athenian nightlife and entertainment, and the North Aegean drinking habits, the study illustrates how Scotch became associated with modernity, popular music and culture, a lavish style, and an antidomestic masculine mentality.
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Greek Festivals, Modern and Ancient

A Comparison of Female and Male Values Volume 2

Author: Evy Johanne Håland

Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing

ISBN: 144389611X

Category: History

Page: 551

View: 8972

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This volume represents a multi-faceted, cross-period product of fieldwork conducted in contemporary Greece in combination with ancient sources. Based on a comparative analysis of important religious festivals and life-cycle rituals, the book investigates the importance of cults connected with the Greek female sphere and its relation to the official male-dominated ideology. Within these festivals are encountered supplementary, complementary or competing ideologies connected with men and women, and it is shown that there is not a one-way power structure or male dominance within Greek culture, but rather competing powers linked to the two sexes and their respective spheres. In addition to gender, the book also explores the relationship between the “great” and “little” societies, in the form of official and popular religion. As such, it will serve to broaden the reader’s knowledge of ancient, but also modern, society, because it concerns the relationship between various spheres of life which each possess their own competing and overlapping, but also co-existing, value-systems.
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Before Sexuality

The Construction of Erotic Experience in the Ancient Greek World

Author: David M. Halperin,John J. Winkler

Publisher: Princeton University Press

ISBN: 9780691002217

Category: History

Page: 526

View: 1993

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A dream in which a man has sex with his mother may promise him political or commercial success--according to dream interpreters of late antiquity, who, unlike modern Western analysts, would not necessarily have drawn conclusions from the dream about the dreamer's sexual psychology. Evidence of such shifts in perspective is leading scholars to reconsider in a variety of creative ways the history of sexuality. In these fifteen original essays, eminent cultural historians and classicists not only discuss sex, but demonstrate how norms, practices, and even the very definitions of what counts as sexual activity have varied significantly over time. Ancient Greece offers abundant evidence for a radically different set of sexual standards and behaviors from ours. Sex in ancient Hellenic culture assumed a variety of social and political meanings, whereas the modern development of a sex-centered model of personality now leads us to view sex as the key to understanding the individual. Drawing on both the Anglo-American tradition of cultural anthropology and the French tradition of les sciences humaines, these essays explore the iconography, politics, ethics, poetry, and medical practices that made sex in ancient Greece not a paradise of liberation but an exotic locale hardly recognizable to visitors from the modern world. In addition to the editors, the contributors to this volume are Peter Brown, Anne Carson, Franoise Frontisi-Ducroux, Maud W. Gleason, Ann Ellis Hanson, Franois Lissarrague, Nicole Loraux, Maurice Olender, S.R.F. Price, James Redfield, Giulia Sissa, and Jean-Pierre Vernant.
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