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.
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.
Author: Jon D. Mikalson
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2009-07-27
Ancient Greek Religion provides an introduction to the fundamental beliefs, practices, and major deities of Greek religion. Focuses on Athens in the classical period Includes detailed discussion of Greek gods and heroes, myth and cult, and vivid descriptions of Greek religion as it was practiced Ancient texts are presented in boxes to promote thought and discussion, and abundant illustrations help readers visualize the rich and varied religious life of ancient Greece Revised edition includes additional boxed texts and bibliography, an 8-page color plate section, a new discussion of the nature of Greek “piety,” and a new chapter on Greek Religion and Greek Culture
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.
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.
Author: Ken Dowden
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2011-03-21
Genre: Literary Criticism
A Companion to Greek Mythology presents a series of essays that explore the phenomenon of Greek myth from its origins in shared Indo-European story patterns and the Greeks’ contacts with their Eastern Mediterranean neighbours through its development as a shared language and thought-system for the Greco-Roman world. Features essays from a prestigious international team of literary experts Includes coverage of Greek myth’s intersection with history, philosophy and religion Introduces readers to topics in mythology that are often inaccessible to non-specialists Addresses the Hellenistic and Roman periods as well as Archaic and Classical Greece
Get this: Cronus liked to eat babies. Narcissus probably should have just learned to masturbate. Odin got construction discounts with bestiality. Isis had bad taste in jewelry. Ganesh was the very definition of an unplanned pregnancy. And Abraham was totally cool about stabbing his kid in the face. All our lives, we’ve been fed watered-down, PC versions of the classic myths. In reality, mythology is more screwed up than a schizophrenic shaman doing hits of unidentified…wait, it all makes sense now. In Zeus Grants Stupid Wishes, Cory O’Brien, creator of Myths RETOLD!, sets the stories straight. These are rude, crude, totally sacred texts told the way they were meant to be told: loudly, and with lots of four-letter words. Skeptical? Here are a few more gems to consider: • Zeus once stuffed an unborn fetus inside his thigh to save its life after he exploded its mother by being too good in bed. • The entire Egyptian universe was saved because Sekhmet just got too hammered to keep murdering everyone. • The Hindu universe is run by a married couple who only stop murdering in order to throw sweet dance parties…on the corpses of their enemies. • The Norse goddess Freyja once consented to a four-dwarf gangbang in exchange for one shiny necklace. And there’s more dysfunctional goodness where that came from.
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: Richard P. Martin
Release Date: 2003-04-01
From one of today’s foremost scholars, a lively retelling of the timeless tales… Here are the myths that have influenced so much of our cultural heritage. Such age-old stories as the tragic love of Orpheus and Eurydice or Demeter’s loss of her daughter, Persephone, resonate strongly with readers even today. In this book the rousing adventures of the heroes Herakles, Theseus, and Perseus are intertwined with the tragedies of immortal Prometheus and mortal Oedipus, the amorous escapades of Zeus, the trickery of Hermes, and the ecstasy of Dionysus. In-depth introductions to each section deepen your understanding of the myths—and heighten your reading pleasure. Presented in simple yet elegant prose, these tales emerge in brilliant new life. From the creation battle of the gods and Titans to Odysseus’ return home from the Trojan War, this indispensable volume contains fifty-six legendary stories—handed down from generations past—that will continue to captivate readers for generations to come.