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: Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies 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: Charles Segal
Release Date: 1993
Genre: Classical literature
This volume surveys the literary treatment of the Orpheus myth as the myth of the essence of poetry - the ability to encounter the fullest possible intensity of beauty and sorrow and to transform them into song. The first half of the book concentrates on the ancient literary tradition, from the myth's Greek origins through the influential poetic versions of Ovid and Virgil and its treatment by other Latin authors such as Horace and Seneca. Later chapters focus on the continuities of the myth in modern literature, including the poetry of H.D., Rukeyser, Rich, Ashbery, and, especially, Rilke. The author's leitmotif throughout is the relation of poetry to art, love and death, the 'three points of the Orphic triangle'. Through close readings of individual texts, he shows how various versions of the myth oscillate between a poetry of transcendence that asserts its power over the necessities of nature - including the ultimate necessity, death - and a poetry that celebrates its immersion in the stream of life.
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.
How can I celebrate love/ now that I know what it does? So begins this booklength lyric sequence which reinhabits and modernizes the story of Orpheus, the mythic master of the lyre (and father of lyric poetry) and Eurydice, his lover who died and whom Orpheus tried to rescue from Hades. Gregory Orr uses as his touchstone the assertion that myths attempt to narrate a whole human experience, while at the same time serving a purpose which resists explanation. Through poems of passionate and obsessive erotic love, Orr has dramatized the anguished intersection of infinite longings and finite lives and, in the process, explores the very sources of poetry. When Eurydice saw him huddled in a thick cloak, she should have known he was alive, the way he shivered beneath its useless folds. But what she saw was the usual: a stranger confused in a new world. And when she touched him on the shoulder, it was nothing personal, a kindness he misunderstood. To guide someone through the halls of hell is not the same as love. "A reader unfamiliar with Orr’s work may be surprised, at first, by the richness of both action and visual detail that his succinct, spare poems convey. Lyricism can erupt in the midst of desolation."—Boston Globe When Gregory Orr’s Burning the Empty Nest appear, Publisher’s Weekly praised it as an "auspicious debut for a gifted newcomer…he already demonstrates a superior control of his medium." Kirkus Review celebrated it as "an almost unbearably powerful first book of poetry" and enthusiastically reviewed his second book Gathering the Bones Together, noting that "Orr’s power is the eloquence of understatement." Most recently, his City of Salt was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award. Gregory Orr teaches at the University of Virginia.
Author: Jon D. Mikalson
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2011-09-07
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
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.
More than 100,000 copies sold in France A fascinating new journey through Greek mythology that explains the myths' timeless lessons and meaning Heroes, gods, and mortals. The Greek myths are the founding narratives of Western civilization: to understand them is to know the origins of philosophy, literature, art, science, law, and more. Indeed, as Luc Ferry shows in this masterful book, they remain a great store of wisdom, as relevant to our lives today as ever before. No mere legends or clichés ("Herculean task," "Pandora's box," "Achilles heel," etc.), these classic stories offer profound and manifold lessons, providing the first sustained attempt to answer fundamental human questions concerning "the good life," the burden of mortality, and how to find one's place in the world. Vividly retelling the great tales of mythology and illuminating fresh new ways of understanding them, The Wisdom of the Myths will enlighten readers of all ages.
Author: Erika M. Nelson
Publisher: Peter Lang
Release Date: 2005
Genre: Literary Criticism
This study of Rainer Maria Rilke (1875-1926) examines the poet's understanding of the malleable nature of identity, while addressing the question of Rilke's place in literary history. In line with contemporary literary theory which views the -self- as a societal -construction- and strategic narrative device, this study explores Rilke's preoccupations with identity in his work, as he investigates the disintegration of the subjective self in the modern world. Rilke's re-readings of the mythological figures of Orpheus and Narcissus in modern psychological terms, as well as in terms of traditional poetics, are keys not only to his poetics and his changing understanding of -self-, but also to his evolving critique of society. This study tracks how Rilke's Orphic work disengages traditional patterns of perceptions, not only to challenge fidelity to history, but also to recover the power of traditional elements from that history to help articulate subjectivity in new terms."