"Paradise Earned": The Bacchic-orphic Gold Lamellae of CretePaperback Hellenic Studies
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- Publisher: Harvard University, Center for Hellenic Studies
- Format: Paperback | 200 pages
- Dimensions: 152mm x 229mm x 20mm | 522g
- Publication date: 1 June 2010
- Publication City/Country: Cambridge
- ISBN 10: 067402379X
- ISBN 13: 9780674023796
- Edition statement: New.
- Illustrations note: 65 halftones
- Sales rank: 847,059
This is a study of the twelve small gold lamellae from Crete that were tokens for entrance into a golden afterlife: the deceased who were buried or cremated with them believed that they had 'earned Paradise.' The lamellae are placed within the context of a small corpus of similar texts, and published with extensive commentary on their topography, lettering and engraving, dialect and orthography, meter, chronology, and usage. The texts reveal a hieros logos whose poetics and rituals are not much different from Homeric rhapsodizing and prophetic discourses. Cretan contexts, both literary and archaeological, are also brought to bear on these incised objects and on the burial custom involved. Finally, this work adduces parallels to the texts on the lamellae from the Byzantine period and modern Greece to illuminate the everlasting and persistent human quest for 'earning Paradise.'
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Yannis Tzifopoulos is Assistant Professor of Classics at the University of Crete.
By Georgia Tsatsani 25 Jul 2012
Tzifopoulos' book is an exceptional study of Cretan entaphic lamellae. Indeed, this is an interdisciplinary approach of the past via the lenses of the modern scientific research. His "paradise earning" work extends in a wide spectrum; epigraphy, literature, archaeology and anthropology are uniquely combined by an academic expert.
Yannis Tzifopoulos' profound knowledge of the classical literature and his elaborated style manages to process a great deal of ancient sources in context. The final outcome is a well-written book addressing both to specialists and not specialists. The impressively concrete, dense, but flowing narrative technique concludes to be read in one breath.
Definitely, "Paradise Earned" is a landmark in the field of classical scholarship; an absolutely innovative thought-provoking study which opens promising paths for the future.