Orpheus and Greek Religion

Orpheus and Greek Religion : A Study of the Orphic Movement

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The tales told of Orpheus are legion. He is said to have been an Argonaut--and to have saved Jason's life. Rivers are reported to have stopped their flow to listen to the sounds of his lyre and his voice. Plato cites his poetry and Herodotus refers to "practices that are called Orphic." Did Orpheus, in fact, exist? His influence on Greek thought is undeniable, but his disciples left little of substance behind them. Indeed, their Orphic precepts have been lost to time. W.K.C. Guthrie attempts to uncover and define Orphism by following its circuitous path through ancient history. He tackles this daunting task with the determination of a detective and the analytical rigor of a classical scholar. He ferries his readers with him on a singular voyage of discovery.show more

Product details

  • Paperback | 352 pages
  • 137.16 x 213.36 x 22.86mm | 340.19g
  • Princeton University Press
  • New Jersey, United States
  • English
  • With a New Introduction by Lar ed.
  • 0691024995
  • 9780691024998
  • 446,993

Back cover copy

"Absolutely indispensable. . . . written for both scholars and general readers. It is admirably lucid and well-organized, and is fully accessible--indeed, fascinating--for anyone interested in the ancient world."--David Ulansey, Boston Universityshow more

Table of contents

List of illustrationsForeword to the Mythos editionPrefaceCh. IFamous OrpheusCh. IIWhat Is Meant by Orphism?Ch. IIIOrpheus and His StoryCh. IVThe Creation and the Gods as Presented by OrpheusCh. VThe Future Life as Seen by OrpheusCh. VILife and Practices of the Follower of OrpheusCh. VIIOrpheus and Other Greek Religious ThinkersCh. VIIIOrpheus in the Hellenistic and Graeco-Roman WorldBibliographyNotesGeneral IndexBibliographical Indexshow more

Review quote

[T]he books ascribed to Hermes ... fall into two divisions, the technical and the philosophical, which Fowden treats separately... [His] scholarly survery makes an excellent foundation for further study of points of detail and of paganism in general. Shadowshow more