The Sacred and the Feminine in Ancient Greece

The Sacred and the Feminine in Ancient Greece


Edited by Sue Blundell, Edited by Margaret Williamson


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  • Publisher: ROUTLEDGE
  • Format: Paperback | 208 pages
  • Dimensions: 157mm x 234mm x 13mm | 408g
  • Publication date: 11 May 1998
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 0415126630
  • ISBN 13: 9780415126632
  • Illustrations note: 2 line figures, 19 b&w photographs

Product description

In classical Greece women were almost entirely excluded from public life. Yet the feminine was accorded a central place in religious thought and ritual.This volume explores the often paradoxical centrality of the feminine in Greek culture, showing how out of sight was not out of mind. The contributors adopt perspectives from a wide range of disciplines, such as archaeology, art history, psychology and anthropology, in order to investigate various aspects of religion and cult. They include the part played by women in death ritual, the role of heroines, and the fact that goddesses had no childhood, at the same time posing questions about how we know what rituals meant to their participants. The Sacred and the Feminine in Ancient Greece is a lively and colourful exploration of the ways in which religion and ritual reveal women's importance in the Greek polis, showing how ideologies about female roles and behaviour were both endorsed and challenged in the realm of the sacred.

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Author information

Sue Blundell is a part time lecturer in Classical Civilisation at Birkbeck College, University of London and Associate Lecturer for the Open University. She is the author of Women in Ancient Greece (British Museum Press, 1995) Margaret Williamson is Senior Lecturer in Classical Studies at St. Mary's University College, University of Surrey. She is the author of Sappho's Immortal Daughters (Harvard University Press, 1995).

Table of contents

1. Introduction, Deities and their Worshippers, 2. The Gamos of Hera: Myth and Ritual, Isabelle Clark, 3. Domesticating Artemis, Susan Cole, Objects of Worship, 4. Marriage and the Maiden: Narratives on the Parthenon, Sue Blundell, 5. Born Old or Never Young? Femininity, Childhood and the Goddesses of Ancient Greece, Lesley Beaumont, 6. The Nature of Heroines, Emily Kearns, Ritual and Gender, 7. Death Becomes Her: Gender and Athenian Death Ritual, Karen Stears, 8. In the Mirror of Dionysus, Richard Seaford, Sources and Interpreters, 9. Thesmophoria and Haloa: Myth, Physics and Mysteries, Nick Lowe