A Companion to Greek Religion

A Companion to Greek Religion

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This major addition to Blackwell's Companions to the Ancient World series covers all aspects of religion in the ancient Greek world from the archaic, through the classical and into the Hellenistic period.* Written by a panel of international experts* Focuses on religious life as it was experienced by Greek men and women at different times and in different places* Features major sections on local religious systems, sacred spaces and ritual, and the divine

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Product details

  • Hardback | 520 pages
  • 176 x 246 x 44mm | 1,061.41g
  • John Wiley and Sons Ltd
  • Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd)
  • Chicester, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1405120541
  • 9781405120548
  • 1,996,308

Back cover copy

"A Companion to Greek Religion" covers all aspects of religion in the ancient Greek world from the archaic, through the classical, and into the hellenistic period. Each of the volume's 27 essays is written by an international expert and provides a survey of a particular area that reflects contemporary scholarship. All the contributions place an emphasis on religious life as it was experienced by Greek men and women at different times and in different places. Myth is considered alongside religion throughout. The "Companion" opens with a review of the Near Eastern background to Greek religion. There follow major sections on the divine powers, communication with the divine, sacred space and time, local religious systems, social organisation and the family in religion, and mystery cults and magic. Further chapters consider the interaction between religion and art, literature, and philosophy. A closing chapter looks at the treatment of Greek religious themes in the cinema.

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Review quote

"The organization of this useful volume invites dipping into rather than a linear perusal. The contributors ... manage to be both informative and fair in their presentation of controversial issues, and blessedly jargon free." (Religious Studies Review, December 2009) "This collection of essays is a welcome addition to the existing books on Greek religion. Both advanced students and scholars will find it a useful introduction to the state of research on the subject." (Acta Classica, 2009) "A splendid book at a not unreasonable price." (Reference Reviews, 2008) "Modestly aiming to offer a mere impression of such a vast field, and eschewing any specific intellectual agenda, Daniel Ogden has done an excellent job both in defining major topics for discussion and in commissioning a varied list of contributors, senior and junior, European and North American, classicists, archaeologists, and historians of religion. ... Ogden has done in excellent job." (Greece and Rome, 2008) "The Companion to Greek Religion is overall an excellent package of the best and most interesting research in Greek religion." (Scholia Reviews, 2008) "Blackwell Companions have well-established reference potential defined by the breadth of scholarly perspectives presented. This volume offers ... well-documented narrations, along with cross-referencing between them." (CHOICE) "Covers all aspects of religion in the ancient Greek world. ... Each of the volume's essays is written by an international expert." (Wordtrade.com) "Blackwell maintains the high standard of its Companion series with these twenty seven essays. ... All in all, [there is] much excellent material here." (Journal of Classics Teaching)

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About Daniel Ogden

Daniel Ogden is Professor of Ancient History at the University of Exeter. He is author of Magic, Witchcraft and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman Worlds (2002), Greek and Roman Necromancy (2001), and Greek Bastardy (1996), and editor of The Hellenistic World: New Perspectives (2002).

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Table of contents

List of Figures. Notes on Contributors. Acknowledgements. Notes on Authors and Translations. Abbreviations. Ancient Author Fragment Series. Introduction (Daniel Ogden, University of Exeter). Part I: In the Background. 1. Greek Religion and the Ancient Near East (Scott B. Noegel, University of Washington). Part II: The Powers: The Gods and the Dead. 2. Olympian Gods, Olympian Pantheon (Ken Dowden, Institute of Archaeology and Antiquity in the University of Birmingham). 3. A Land Full of Gods: Nature Deities in Greek Religion (Jennifer Larson, Kent State University). 4. Personification in Greek Religious Thought and Practice (Emma Stafford, University of Leeds). 5. The Dead (D. Felton, University of Massachusetts). 6. Heroes and Hero-cults (Gunnel Ekroth, Stockholm University). Part III: Communicating with the Divine. 7. Prayers and Hymns (William D. Furley, Heidelberg University). 8. Greek Normative Animal Sacrifice (Jan N. Bremmer, Rijksuniversiteit Groningen). 9. Divination (Pierre Bonnechere, Centre d'etudes classiques in the University of Montreal). Part IV: From Sacred Space to Sacred Time. 10. A Day in the Life of a Greek Sanctuary (Beate Dignas, Somerville College, Oxford). 11. Purity and Pollution (Andreas Bendlin, University of Toronto at Mississauga). 12. Festivals (Scott Scullion, University of Oxford). 13. Time and Greek Religion (James Davidson, University of Warwick). Part V: Local Religious Systems. 14. "Famous Athens, Divine Polis": The Religious System at Athens (Susan Deacy, Roehampton University). 15. The Religious System at Sparta (Nicolas Richer, Ecole Normale Superieure Lettres et Sciences Humaines, Lyons). 16. The Religious System at Alexandria (Francoise Dunand, Marc Bloch University, Strasbourg). 17. The Religious System in Arcadia (Madeleine Jost, University of Paris X - Nanterre). Part VI: Social Organization, the Family and Sex. 18. Religion and Society in Classical Greece (Charles W. Hedrick, Jr., University of California Santa Cruz). 19. Women, Religion and the Home (Janett Morgan, Bristol University). 20. "Something to do with Aphrodite": Ta Aphrodisia and the Sacred (Vinciane Pirenne-Delforge, University of Liege). Part VII: Mysteries and Magic. 21. Finding Dionysus (Susan Guettel Cole, University at Buffalo). 22. The Mysteries of Demeter and Kore (Kevin Clinton, Cornell University). 23. Magic in Classical and Hellenistic Greece (Matthew W. Dickie, University of Illinois). Part VIII: Intersections: Greek Religion and ... 24. Greek Religion and Literature (Thomas Harrison, University of Liverpool). 25. Greek Religion and Philosophy: The God of the Philospher (Fritz-Gregor Herrmann, University of Wales, Swansea). 26. Greek Religion and Art (T. H. Carpenter, Ohio University). Part IX: Epilogue. 27. Gods of the Silver Screen: Cinematic Representations of Myth and Divinity (Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones, University of Edinburgh).

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