Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion

Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion

Paperback Cambridge Library Collection: Classics

By (author) Jane Ellen Harrison

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  • Format: Paperback | 708 pages
  • Dimensions: 140mm x 213mm x 48mm | 771g
  • Publication date: 8 October 2010
  • Publication City/Country: Cambridge
  • ISBN 10: 1108010032
  • ISBN 13: 9781108010030
  • Edition statement: Reissue
  • Illustrations note: 187 b/w illus.
  • Sales rank: 890,745

Product description

Jane Ellen Harrison (1850-1928) was a pioneer in the academic study of myth in its historical and archaeological context, and was also one of the first women to make a full-time career as an academic. In her introduction to this book (1903), making the point that 'Greek religion' was usually studied using the surviving literary retellings of myths and legends, she states: 'The first preliminary to any scientific understanding of Greek religion is a minute examination of its ritual'. Using the then emerging disciplines of anthropology and ethnology, she demonstrates that the specific mythological tales of the Greeks embody systems of belief or philosophy which are not unique to Greek civilisation but which are widespread among societies both 'primitive' and 'advanced'. Her work was enormously influential not only on subsequent scholars of Greek religion but in the wider fields of literature, anthropology and psychoanalysis.

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Table of contents

1. Olympian and chthonic ritual; 2. The Anthesteria; 3. Harvest festivals; 4. The women's festivals; 5. The demonology of ghosts, sprites and bogeys; 6. The making of a goddess; 7. The making of a god; 8. Dionysus; 9. Orpheus; 10. Orphic and Dionysiac mysteries; 11. Orphic eschatology; 12. Orphic cosmosgony; Index.