Author: Jane Ellen Harrison
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 1922
"Harrison's Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion is a book that breathes life. It is an exciting, deeply felt intellectual quest, with a broad view of the role of religion in life, ancient and modern. Harrison is not afraid to look for relevance in archaic cult, and doesn't flinch on finding it. From a study of Greek anthropomorphism, she can conclude, like a seeress looking beyond the early twentieth century: to be human is not necessarily to be humane.'"--Richard Martin, Princeton University Jane Harrison examines the festivals of ancient Greek religion to identify the primitive "substratum" of ritual and its persistence in the realm of classical religious observance and literature. In Harrison's preface to this remarkable book, she writes that J. G. Frazer's work had become part and parcel of her "mental furniture" and that of others studying primitive religion. Today, those who write on ancient myth or ritual are bound to say the same about Harrison. Her essential ideas, best developed and most clearly put in the Prolegomena, have never been eclipsed.
Author: Algis Uzdavinys
Publisher: The Matheson Trust
Release Date: 2011
Genre: Body, Mind & Spirit
A book on the religious, mystic origins and substance of philosophy. This is a critical survey of ancient and modern sources and of scholarly works dealing with Orpheus and everything related to this major figure of ancient Greek myth, religion and philosophy. Here poetic madness meets religious initiation and Platonic philosophy. This book contains fascinating insights into the usually downplaid relations between Egyptian initiation, Greek mysteries and Plato's philosophy and followers, right into Hellenistic Neoplatonic and Hermetic developments.
Author: Jan N. Bremmer
Release Date: 2003-09-02
Belief in the afterlife is still very much alive in Western civilisation, even though the truth of its existence is no longer universally accepted. Surprisingly, however, heaven, hell and the immortal soul were all ideas which arrived relatively late in the ancient world. Originally Greece and Israel - the cultures that gave us Christianity - had only the vaguest ideas of an afterlife. So where did these concepts come from and why did they develop? In this fascinating, learned, but highly readable book, Jan N. Bremmer - one of the foremost authorities on ancient religion - takes a fresh look at the major developments in the Western imagination of the afterlife, from the ancient Greeks to the modern near-death experience.
Author: Sarah Iles Johnston
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2009-04-22
The first English-language survey of ancient Greek divinatory methods, Ancient Greek Divination offers a broad yet detailed treatment of the earliest attempts by ancient Greeks to seek the counsel of the gods. Offers in-depth discussions of oracles, wandering diviners, do-it-yourself methods of foretelling the future, magical divinatory techniques, and much more Illustrates how the study of divination illuminates the mentalities of ancient Greek religions and societies
Author: Ann Wroe
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2012-07-05
Orpheus has haunted man's consciousness from his birth, at the foot of Mount Olympus, to the muse Calliope, and the god Apollo. He appears in various guises: Greek Orpheus is naked but for a short cloak; in the East he wears a baggy trousers and a turban; Thracian Orpheus is disguised by a thick cloak and cone-shaped hat. The 'father of songs', his lyre is ever-present at his side, and his music entrances everything in its range; animals, trees, stones, water and men. In this extraordinary work Ann Wroe examines the evidence of Orpheus's life, from the mountains where he walked and the temples where he worshipped, to the many artefacts and texts in which he appears. She recreates the image of Orpheus through the ages, melded to the myths, fables and lessons that have grown up around him: of his birth, his voyage on the Argonaut, his love for Eurydice and journey to Hades, and his terrible death. Beginning in antiquity, we follow the poet from a sixth-century BC vase to his descriptions in the work of Pindar, Aristotle, Ovid, and Cicero; from biblical texts, medieval and Renaissance painting and manuscripts to the works of Chaucer to Wordsworth and Rilke; appearing and reappearing to inspire and seize hold of the imagination throughout history.
This title looks at the metaphysical explorations into the different aspects of the mystical ascent to heaven, as understood in philosophical, theological and esoteric literature within the hellenistic, Christian, Jewish and Islamic traditions.
At the very beginnings of the Archaic Age, the great singer Orpheus taught a new religion that centered around the immortality of the human soul and its journey after death on its way to finding a permanent home. He felt that achieving purity by avoiding meat and refraining from committing harm further promoted the pursuit of a peaceful life. Elements of the worship of Dionysus, such as shape-shifting and ritualistic ecstasy, were fused with Orphic beliefs to produce a powerful and illuminating new religion that found expression in the mystery cults. Practitioners of this new religion composed a great body of poetry, much of which is translated in The Orphic Hymns. The hymns presented in this book were anonymously composed somewhere in Asia Minor, most likely in the middle of the third century AD. At this turbulent time, the Hellenic past was fighting for its survival, while the new Christian faith was spreading everywhere. The Orphic Hymns thus reflect a pious spirituality in the form of traditional literary conventions. The hymns themselves are devoted to specific divinities as well as to cosmic elements. Prefaced with offerings, strings of epithets invoke the various attributes of the divinity and prayers ask for peace and health to the initiate. Coauthors Apostolos N. Athanassakis and Benjamin M. Wolkow have produced an accurate and elegant translation accompanied by rich commentary.
Author: Nina Kossman
Publisher: Oxford University Press on Demand
Release Date: 2001
More than perhaps any other folkloric tradition, whether oral or written, the myths of classical Greece and Rome have survived and pervaded the consciousness of lands far-flung from their source. The mythic world of the ancients, peopled by glamorous gods and unstoppable heroes, in which the mortal and immortal commingled, is even now a living presence in 21st century culture, rather than a literary relic. Whether we know them by their Roman or their Greek names - Artemis or Minerva, Poseidon or Neptune - the figures of these ancietn myths captured the imagination of culture after culture across the globe, inspiring writers, artists, musicians and those of us who comprise the audience for their works. Can it be a coincidence that the greatest poets of the western world have each at one point tried their hand at retellings? Kossman's anthology assembles some of the best of these poems inspired by ancient myths, organizing them by themse, and allowing the reader to compare one against the other - for example, one section assembels poems telling the stories of mythic lovers (Cupid and Psyche, Orpheus and Eurydice); another the many tales of miraculous transformations (Pygmalion and Galatea, Echo and Narcissus). With such a wide variety of the world's best poets to choose from - from all over the world and from any era since classical times - Kossman has had no difficulty creating a literary pantheon; included are D. H. Lawrence, Derek Walcott, Rita Dove, Denise Levertov, Rilke, Pound, and Yeats. The collection should be a treasure for the innumerable debotees of both myth and poetry.
Eighty of the world's greatest myths and characters, from the gods of Greek mythology to the Norse heroes, retold and explained with engaging text and bold graphics. From early creation stories to classical hero narratives and the recurring theme of the afterlife, experience each myth and unravel the meanings behind the stories, getting to the heart of the importance of mythology to different cultures worldwide. More than just stories, myths are a testament to the amazing creativity of humans striving to explain and make sense of the world around them. Here you will discover Zeus, god of the sky and ruler of the Olympian gods, and Loki, the cunning trickster with a knack for causing havoc, aided by his ability to change shape and gender. Beyond the gods and goddesses of Ancient Greek, Roman, and Norse myths, this book delves into the stories of the Australian aborigines, the Cherokee, and the Aztecs, each brimming with amazing characters and insights into human existence. This newest title in the bestselling Big Ideas series pairs engaging visual style with global coverage of world myths--profiling everything from the well-known tales of the Greeks, Norsemen, and Egyptians to the legends of the Caribbean, the Americas, Oceania, and East Asia--bringing the wisdom of the ages to life.