Until now, there has been no comprehensive study of religion in Athens from the end of the classical period to the time of Rome's domination of the city. Jon D. Mikalson provides a chronological approach to religion in Hellenistic Athens, disproving the widely held belief that Hellenistic religion during this period represented a decline from the classical era. Drawing from epigraphical, historical, literary, and archaeological sources, Mikalson traces the religious cults and beliefs of Athenians from the battle of Chaeroneia in 338 B.C. to the devastation of Athens by Sulla in 86 B.C., demonstrating that traditional religion played a central and vital role in Athenian private, social, and political life. Mikalson describes the private and public religious practices of Athenians during this period, emphasizing the role these practices played in the life of the citizens and providing a careful scruntiny of individual cults. He concludes his study by using his findings from Athens to call into question several commonly held assumptions about the general development of religion in Hellenistic Greece.
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
A study of the approbation of religious actions and artefacts and an investigation of the various authorities in religious activities in classical and Hellenistic Athens. New esthetic and social aspects and a new view of polis control of religion emerge.
This handbook offers a comprehensive overview of scholarship in ancient Greek religion, from the Archaic to the Hellenistic periods. The handbook lays out the key dimensions of ancient Greek religion, approaches to evidence, and the representations of myths. The chapters reveal to readers the questions about, and the continuities and differences between, religious structures across time and place; including cultural interactions with Egypt, the Near East, theBlack Sea, and Bactria and India.
"There is something of a paradox about our access to ancient Greek religion. We know too much, and too little. The materials that bear on it far outreach an individual's capacity to assimilate: so many casual allusions in so many literary texts over more than a millennium, so many direct or indirect references in so many inscriptions from so many places in the Greek world, such an overwhelming abundance of physical remains. But genuinely revealing evidence does not often cluster coherently enough to create a vivid sense of the religious realities of a particular time and place. Amid a vast archipelago of scattered islets of information, only a few are of a size to be habitable."—from the Preface In On Greek Religion, Robert Parker offers a provocative and wide-ranging entrée into the world of ancient Greek religion, focusing especially on the interpretive challenge of studying a religious system that in many ways remains desperately alien from the vantage point of the twenty-first century. One of the world's leading authorities on ancient Greek religion, Parker raises fundamental methodological questions about the study of this vast subject. Given the abundance of evidence we now have about the nature and practice of religion among the ancient Greeks—including literary, historical, and archaeological sources—how can we best exploit that evidence and agree on the central underlying issues? Is it possible to develop a larger, "unified" theoretical framework that allows for coherent discussions among archaeologists, anthropologists, literary scholars, and historians? In seven thematic chapters, Parker focuses on key themes in Greek religion: the epistemological basis of Greek religion; the relation of ritual to belief; theories of sacrifice; the nature of gods and heroes; the meaning of rituals, festivals, and feasts; and the absence of religious authority. Ranging across the archaic, classical, and Hellenistic periods, he draws on multiple disciplines both within and outside classical studies. He also remains sensitive to varieties of Greek religious experience. Also included are five appendixes in which Parker applies his innovative methodological approach to particular cases, such as the acceptance of new gods and the consultation of oracles. On Greek Religion will stir debate for its bold questioning of disciplinary norms and for offering scholars and students new points of departure for future research.
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"When we think of ancient Athens, the image invariably coming to mind is of the Classical city, with monuments beautifying everywhere; the Agora swarming with people conducting business and discussing political affairs; and a flourishing intellectual, artistic, and literary life, with life anchored in the ideals of freedom, autonomy, and democracy. But in 338 that forever changed when Philip II of Macedonia defeated a Greek army at Chaeronea to impose Macedonian hegemony over Greece. The Greeks then remained under Macedonian rule until the new power of the Mediterranean world, Rome, annexed Macedonia and Greece into its empire. How did Athens fare in the Hellenistic and Roman periods? What was going on in the city, and how different was it from its Classical predecessor? There is a tendency to think of Athens remaining in decline in these eras, as its democracy was curtailed, the people were forced to suffer periods of autocratic rule, and especially under the Romans enforced building activity turned the city into a provincial one than the "School of Hellas" that Pericles had proudly proclaimed it to be, and the Athenians were forced to adopt the imperial cult and watch Athena share her home, the sacred Acropolis, with the goddess Roma. But this dreary picture of decline and fall belies reality, as my book argues. It helps us appreciate Hellenistic and Roman Athens and to show it was still a vibrant and influential city. A lot was still happening in the city, and its people were always resilient: they fought their Macedonian masters when they could, and later sided with foreign kings against Rome, always in the hope of regaining that most cherished ideal, freedom. Hellenistic Athens is far from being a postscript to its Classical predecessor, as is usually thought. It was simply different. Its rich and varied history continued, albeit in an altered political and military form, and its Classical self lived on in literature and thought. In fact, it was its status as a cultural and intellectual juggernaut that enticed Romans to the city, some to visit, others to study. The Romans might have been the ones doing the conquering, but in adapting aspects of Hellenism for their own cultural and political needs, they were the ones, as the poet Horace claimned, who ended up being captured"--
People, A Global Agenda discusses the social impact of global transformations. A collaborative effort of more than fifty thinkers from countries throughout the world, the book contains specific proposals intended to address several of the major problems afflicting virtually every country today. The crises confronted by the contributors include poverty, unemployment, and social disintegration. Part One examines the need for a shift in our understanding of security from a political to a human sense of the term. Contributors devise strategies for improving human living conditions, and propose new frameworks of development cooperation and new patterns of global governance in order to enhance human security. Part Two highlights the impact of poverty in political, economic, social, and environmental terms. The character of unemployment, under-employment, low-productive employment, and the new phenomenon of jobless growth at the turn of the 21st century forms the heart of Part Three. The selections seek to delineate measures, at both the state and market level, for the expansion of productive employment and sustainable livelihoods, and for the role of new technology in this endeavor. Part Four examines the causes and impacts of the world's social disintegration and inequality, and advocates means by which social cohesion and justice can be enhanced.
This major addition to Blackwell?s Companions to the Ancient World series covers all aspects of religion in the ancient Greek world from the archaic, through the classical and into the Hellenistic period. Written by a panel of international experts Focuses on religious life as it was experienced by Greek men and women at different times and in different places Features major sections on local religious systems, sacred spaces and ritual, and the divine
Images and inscriptions indicate how priests and cult personnel saw themselves and were viewed by others. Cultural records like dedications, honorific statues and decrees are central to understanding how the roles of priests and priestesses were constructed in social and political terms in post-classical Athens. The approaches in this study are both historical and archaeological, and elucidate the religious functions that the cult personnel fulfilled for the city, and their perception, by themselves and by others, as citizens of the polis.
This Companion volume offers fifteen original essays on the Hellenistic world and is intended to complement and supplement general histories of the period from Alexander the Great to Kleopatra VII of Egypt. Each chapter treats a different aspect of the Hellenistic world - religion, philosophy, family, economy, material culture, and military campaigns, among other topics. The essays address key questions about this period: To what extent were Alexander's conquests responsible for the creation of this new 'Hellenistic' age? What is the essence of this world and how does it differ from its Classical predecessor? What continuities and discontinuities can be identified? Collectively, the essays provide an in-depth view of a complex world. The volume also provides a bibliography on the topics along with recommendations for further reading.
Das Gymnasion zählte zu den öffentlichen Einrichtungen, über die eine Stadt im griechisch-hellenistischen Kulturraum verfügen mußte, um den Rang einer Polis beanspruchen zu können. Obwohl einzelne Gymnasien bereits seit archaischer Zeit in griechischen Städten belegt sind, bildete sich das Gymnasion erst in hellenistischer Zeit als öffentlich verwaltete und architektonisch gestaltete Anlage aus. Die Beiträge des vorliegenden Bandes thematisieren die ideellen und institutionellen Grundlagen und die Funktionen der Gymnasien sowie ihren Beitrag zur Hellenisierung. Dabei wird insbesondere die Übernahme neuer Funktionen hervorgehoben und nachgewiesen, wie sich diese städtische Institution, die ursprünglich einen Ort adliger Muße und sportlichen Wettbewerbs bildete, auch zum Ort militärischer Ausbildung entwickelte und sich schließlich in ein exklusives Bildungsinstitut verwandelte.
The two great Persian invasions of Greece, in 490 and 480-79 B.C., both repulsed by the Greeks, provide our best opportunity for understanding the interplay of religion and history in ancient Greece. Using the Histories of Herodotus as well as other historical and archaeological sources, Jon Mikalson shows how the Greeks practiced their religion at this pivotal moment in their history. In the period of the invasions and the years immediately after, the Greeks--internationally, state by state, and sometimes individually--turned to their deities, using religious practices to influence, understand, and commemorate events that were threatening their very existence. Greeks prayed and sacrificed; made and fulfilled vows to the gods; consulted oracles; interpreted omens and dreams; created cults, sanctuaries, and festivals; and offered dozens of dedications to their gods and heroes--all in relation to known historical events. By portraying the human situations and historical circumstances in which Greeks practiced their religion, Mikalson advances our knowledge of the role of religion in fifth-century Greece and reveals a religious dimension of the Persian Wars that has been previously overlooked.