Light and Darkness in Ancient Greek Myth and Religion

Light and Darkness in Ancient Greek Myth and Religion

Hardback Greek Studies: Interdisciplinary Approaches (Hardcover) Language: English / Greek, Ancient (to 1453)

Edited by Menelaos Christopoulos, Edited by Efimia D. Karakantza, Edited by Olga Levaniouk, Contributions by Mercedes Aguirre, Contributions by Richard Buxton, Contributions by Soteroula Constantinidou, Contributions by Ken Dowden, Contributions by Radcliffe G. Edmonds, Contributions by Ariadni Gartziou-Tatti, Contributions by Daniel Iakov

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  • Publisher: Lexington Books
  • Format: Hardback | 324 pages
  • Language: English / Greek, Ancient (to 1453)
  • Dimensions: 155mm x 231mm x 28mm | 612g
  • Publication date: 15 November 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Lanham, MD
  • ISBN 10: 0739138987
  • ISBN 13: 9780739138984
  • Edition statement: New.
  • Sales rank: 1,358,713

Product description

Light and darkness played an important role beyond the division of time in ancient Greek myth and religion; the contributors to Light and Darkness in Ancient Greek Myth and Religion consider its function on both the individual and social level as manifested in modes of thought and behavior and expressed in language, beliefs, ritual, and iconography. The book is divided into five parts: color semantics, appearance and concealment, eye sight/insight, being and beyond, and cult. Each subdivision contains a wealth of information for the reader, ranging from detailed explanations of the interplay between lexical categories that denote darkness and light and the effect of blindness on metaphysical matters to the qualities of cultic light. This unique volume will be of interest to readers in fields as diverse as ancient Greek history, metaphysics, and iconography.

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Author information

Menelaos Christopoulos is associate professor of ancient Greek literature in the Department of Philology at Patras University. Efimia D. Karakantza is a lecturer in ancient Greek literature in the Department of Philology at Patras University. Olga Levaniouk is an associate professor of Classics at the University of Washington.

Review quote

A beautiful bunch of manifold studies, which lets us grasp the issue of light and darkness within the Greek world under several aspects and explore its very complexity. -- Vinciane Pirenne, Universite de Liege Light and Darkness in Ancient Greek Myth and Religion is an instructive and stimulating collection of authoritative essays on the semiotics and symbolism, the ritual, cosmological, social, and spiritual dimensions of light and darkness in ancient Greece. The editors draw on a wide range of literary, anthropological, religious, and historical scholarship to break new ground in the interpretation of Greek culture. -- Seth L. Schein, University of California at Davis This is a productive and welcome contribution to an under explored field, particularly in bringing the work of Greek scholars to an English-speaking audience...The index is useful, while extensive endnoting renders references unobtrusive to the casual reader, but valuable to the researcher. Overall, it is a physically and intellectually solid volume, well worth its price, and of more general interest than the title perhaps suggests. Bryn Mawr Classical Review

Table of contents

Chapter 1 Preface Chapter 2 Introduction Part 3 Colour Semantics Chapter 4 Chapter 1. The Significance (or Insignificance) of Blackness in Mythological Names Chapter 5 Chapter 2. Dark Skin and Dark Deeds; Danaides and Aigyptioi in a Culture of Light Chapter 6 Chapter 3. Brightness and Darkness in Pindar's Pythian 3: Aigla-Coronis-Arsinoe and her Initiatory Experience Chapter 7 Chapter 4. S-light Anomaly; Dark Brightness in Euripides' Medea Part 8 Appearance and Concealment Chapter 9 Chapter 5. The Light Imagery of Divine Manifestation in Homer Chapter 10 Chapter 6. Trojan Night Chapter 11 Chapter 7. Tithonus and Phaon. Mythical Allegories of Light and Darkness in Sappho's Poetry Chapter 12 Chapter 8. Erinyes as Creatures of Darkness Chapter 13 Chapter 9. Hephaistos: God of Light Part 14 Eye-sight/Insight Chapter 15 Chapter 10. Blind People and Blindness in Ancient Greek Myth Chapter 16 Chapter 11. Blindness as Punishment Part 17 Being and Beyond Chapter 18 Chapter 12. Light and Darkness and Archaic Cosmogony Chapter 19 Chapter 13. Mystic Light and Near-Death Experience Chapter 20 Chapter 14. Dark Winged Nyx and Bright Winged Eros in Aristophanes' "Orphic" Cosmogony: The Birds, 693-703 Chapter 21 Chapter 15. The Bright Cypress of the Orphic Golden Tablets: Direction and Illumination in Myths of the Underworld Chapter 22 Chapter 16. Milk on Pelinna Tomb Tablets Part 23 Cult Chapter 24 Chapter 17. Light and Darkness in Dionysiac Rituals as Illustrated on Attic Vase Paintings of the 5th century BC Chapter 25 Chapter 18. Light and Lighting Equipment in the Eleusinian Mysteries: Symbolism and Ritual Use Chapter 26 Chapter 19. Magic Lamps, Luminous Dreams: Lamps in PGM Recipes