Dance and Ritual Play in Greek Religion

Dance and Ritual Play in Greek Religion

Paperback Ancient Society and History

By (author) Steven H. Lonsdale

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  • Publisher: JOHNS HOPKINS UNIVERSITY PRESS
  • Format: Paperback | 384 pages
  • Dimensions: 136mm x 216mm x 24mm | 522g
  • Publication date: 1 July 2001
  • Publication City/Country: Baltimore, MD
  • ISBN 10: 0801867592
  • ISBN 13: 9780801867590
  • Edition statement: Reprint
  • Illustrations note: 1, black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 691,843

Product description

In private and in public life, the ancient Greeks danced to express divine adoration and human festivity. They danced at feasts and choral competitions, at weddings and funerals, in observance of the cycles of both nature and human existence. Formal and informal dances marked the rhythms of life and death. In Dance and Ritual Play in Greek Religion, Steven Lonsdale looks at how the Greeks themselves regarded the act of dance, and how dance and related forms of ritual play in Greek religious festivals served a wide variety of functions in Greek society. The act of worship, he explains, often implied engaging in collective rites regulated by playful behavior, the most common forms of which were group hymns and choral dances.

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Author information

Stephen H. Lonsdale was educated at Harvard University and Cambridge Universities. He is the author of Animals and the Origins of Dance and Creatures of Speech: Lion, Herding, and Hunting Similies in the "Iliad".

Review quote

This book offers a thorough and detailed review of the evidence for the function of dance to 'express divine adoration and human festivity in Greek culture.'. New England Classical Newsletter and Journal