Griechische Religion Der Archaischen Und Klassischen Epoche

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Harvard University Press, 1985 - History - 493 pages
8 Reviews
A survey of the religious beliefs of ancient Greece covers sacrifices, libations, purification, gods, heroes, the priesthood, oracles, festivals, and the afterlife

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Review: Greek Religion

User Review  - Yannis Theodossis - Goodreads

If you are interested in Greeks' religion, this is an indispensable book. Not easy to read, but a great reference. If you have an even bigger interest in Greek religion, mind that it is much more than a book can contain. Still, this is an excellent book to begin with. Read full review

Review: Greek Religion

User Review  - sologdin - Goodreads

more concerned with material practices than narratives. large scope, expects reader to keep up. Read full review

Contents

The Scope of the Study
7
IndoEuropean
15
The Dark Age and the Problem of Continuity
47
Copyright

19 other sections not shown

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About the author (1985)

German-born scholar Walter Burkert currently teaches at the University of Zurich. He is the leading active scholar of the religion of early and classical Greece. Burkert's work proceeds through intense, meticulous historical and philological investigation, seeking to understand Greek religion in and of itself. His studies wed philology and history with methods drawn from anthropology and resemble the work of Jonathan Z. Smith. But, unlike Smith, who seems to rule out diachronic considerations categorically in favor of synchronic taxonomies or analogical comparisons, Burkert remains interested in questions of long-term historical evolution and cross-cultural influence. Burkert gives particular attention to psychological causation and the biological roots of human behavior as revealed by the science of ethology. For example, his study of Greek sacrifice, Homo necans, roots the practice of sacrifice in the biological necessity faced by prehistoric hunting groups that killed to survive. Burkert suggests that this necessary, aggressive behavior gave rise to anxiety, but through the practice of sacrifice the unavoidable aggression, which otherwise threatened to destroy society, was redirected to its promotion instead. In Structure and History Burkert's theoretical concerns are larger, including both myth and ritual. The precise relation between myth and ritual has been a vexing question for scholars of ancient religions; Burkert places them side by side and links them at a structural level. He thinks ritual is older than myth, because it is a form of behavior found even in animals. Nevertheless, ritual and myth share several important features: Both depend upon basic biological or cultural programs of action and detachment from pragmatic reality. Both serve communication. Because myth and ritual are related in this way, it is possible for them to be found together. Burkert's Greek Religion is the current, standard handbook on the religions of ancient Greece. His most recent work has been devoted to examining the influence of the ancient Near East on archaic Greek civilization.

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