Polytheism and Society at Athens (Hardback)
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Short Description for Polytheism and Society at Athens Probably more is known about the religious life of Athens than of any other ancient city. This book provides an account of that religion from different angles: public festivals, the Eleusinian Mysteries, private rites and magic, and the treatment of religion by the great playwrights of Athens. The Athenians emerge as pious and very down-to-earth.
- Published: 01 February 2006
- Format: Hardback 576 pages
- ISBN 13: 9780199274833 ISBN 10: 0199274835
Full description for Polytheism and Society at Athens
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 smaller groups, 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 section considers 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: A History (Oxford 1996).