Polytheism and Society at Athens

Paperback | April 1, 2007

byRobert Parker

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This book is the first attempt that has ever been made to give a comprehensive account of the religious life of ancient Athens. The city's many festivals are discussed in detail, with attention to recent anthropological theory; so too, for instance, are the cults of households and of smallergroups, the role of religious practice and argumentation in public life, the authority of priests, the activities of religious professionals such as seers and priestesses, magic, the place of theatrical representations of the gods within public attitudes to the divine. A long final sectionconsiders the sphere of activity of the various gods, and takes Athens as a uniquely detailed test case for the structuralist approach to polytheism. The work is a synchronic, thematically organized complement (though designed to be read independently) to the same author's Athenian Religion: AHistory (Oxford 1996).

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This book is the first attempt that has ever been made to give a comprehensive account of the religious life of ancient Athens. The city's many festivals are discussed in detail, with attention to recent anthropological theory; so too, for instance, are the cults of households and of smallergroups, the role of religious practice and a...

Robert Parker is Wykeham Professor of Ancient History at the University of Oxford.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:576 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1.18 inPublished:April 1, 2007Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199216118

ISBN - 13:9780199216116

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Table of Contents

IntroductionI1. Ancestral Gods, Ancestral Tombs: The Household and Beyond2. `Those with whom I sacrifice'3. Places of Cult: Athens and the Demes4. International Religion5. Who prays for Athens? Religion in Civic Life6. `Those who make a profession out of rites': Unlicensed Religion, and Magic7. Religion in the TheatreII8. Festivals and their Celebrants9. Things Done at Festivals10. The Festival Year11. Parthenoi in Ritual12. The Panathenaea13. Women's Festivals: Thesmophoria and Adonia14. The Anthesteria and other Dionysiac Rites15. Eleusinian Festivals16. Festivals, Rituals, Myths: Reprise17. Gods at Work I: Protecting the City18. Gods at Work II: The Growth of Plants and MenEpilogue

Editorial Reviews

`Review from previous edition No other book takes such a holistic approach to Greek religious practice and experience, or deals with the acute historical and theoretical complexities in such a jargon-free and attractive manner.'Peter Jones, Sunday Telegraph