Lucian : On the Syrian Goddess

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This is the first edition of and full-length commentary on On the Syrian Goddess, an Ionic ethnography of the Holy City of Hierapolis in northern Syria, where the Syrian goddess Atargatis was worshipped. This treatise is one of the most important literary sources for 'oriental' religions under the Roman Empire. Traditionally ascribed to Lucian of Samosata, the work has often been viewed as satire. Lightfoot argues for a much subtler reading, for the first time combining a literary and philological approach with the evidence of archaeology to set this complex treatise in the fullest possible context. The result bears on the religious culture of Roman Syria; on the genre of Herodotean ethnography and its revival and reception in the Second Sophistic; and on Lucian of Samosata himself. The edition is based on a fresh collation of all existing manuscripts and an English translation is more

Product details

  • Hardback | 626 pages
  • 160 x 238.8 x 45.7mm | 952.56g
  • Oxford University Press
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • numerous halftones and 3 maps
  • 019925138X
  • 9780199251384

About J. L. Lightfoot

J. L. Lightfoot is a Postdoctoral Fellow of All Souls College, Oxfordshow more

Table of contents

1. Anatomy of a Deity ; 2. Anatomy of De Dea Syria ; 3. Text ; 4. Commentaryshow more

Review quote

... the nature and credibility of de dea Syria and its value as evidence for religious history will continue to be the object of debate in the future as it has been in the past. Jane Lightfoot will not have put an end to such debates, but we can be sure that they will be conducted in future on the sure foundations she has laid by her scholarship, acuity and insight. Scripta Classica Israelica This new work commands admiration Robert L. Fowler, Times Literary Supplementshow more