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Greek Religion - Bibliography

Key edited volumes and websites to consult throughout the course

On Greek religion in general

  • Alcock and R. Osborne (eds). Placing the Gods, Sanctuaries and Sacred Space in Ancient Greece 1994
    L. Bruit-Zaidman and P. Schmitt-Pantel Religion in the Ancient Greek City 1992 Translator’s Intro, p. 3-27, 231-234, dip into part II.
  • Buxton (ed.) Oxford Readings in Greek Religion 2000
  • R. Connor “Sacred and Secular hiera and hosia in the Classical Athenian Concept of the State” in Ancient Society 1987 p.161-88
  • R. Dodds Greeks and the Irrational 1951 Introduction plus p. 18,254.
  • Easterling and J. Muir (eds). Greek Religion and Society 1987 &3
  • Eidinow and J. Kindt Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Religion 2016
  • Eidinow, J. Kindt and R. Osborne Theologies of ancient Greek religion 2016
  • Hägg (ed.) Ancient Greek Cult Practice from the Archaeological Evidence 1998
  • Haysom and J. Wallenstein (eds). Current Approaches to religion in ancient Greece 2011
  • S. I. Johnston (ed.) Religions of the Ancient World: a guide 2004
  • Kearns “Order, Interaction and Authority: ways of looking at Greek religion” in A Powell (ed.) The Greek World 1996 p. 511-29 @
  • Larson Understanding Greek Religion: A Cognitive Approach 2016
  • Marinatos and R. Hagg (eds). Greek Sanctuaries: New approaches 1993
  • A D Nock “Religious attitudes of the ancient Greeks” in A D Nock Essays on Religion and the Ancient World 1972 vol.2 535-50
  • Ogden (ed.) Blackwell Companion to Greek Religion 2007
  • R. Parker Athenian Religion: as history 1996
  • Parker Polytheism and Society at Athens 2005
  • Schachter (ed.) Le Sanctuaire Grec 1992
  • Wescoat and R. Ousterhout (eds). Architecture of the Sacred 2012
  • J. Whitley The Archaeology of Ancient Greece 2001


Greek Sanctuaries

  • Emerson Greek Sanctuaries: an introduction 2007
  • A .W. Lawrence Greek Architecture 1983
  • Mee and A. Spawforth Greece: the Oxford Archaeological Guide 2001
  • Pedley Sanctuaries and the Sacred in the Ancient Greek World 2005
  • Scott Delphi: A History of the Centre of the Ancient World 2014
  • Scott Delphi and Olympia: the spatial politics of panhellenism in the archaic and classical periods 2010
  • Spawforth The Complete Greek Temples 2006
  • Tomlinson Greek Sanctuaries 1976


On the nature of Greek religion:

  • Burkert Greek Religion 1985
  • Buxton Oxford Readings in Greek Religion 2000 Introduction plus dip into a chapter in each section for different approaches
  • R. Dodds “The Religion of the Ordinary Man in Classical Greece” in E R Dodd The Ancient Concept of Progress and other essays 1973 p.140-155
  • Gould “On making sense of Greek Religion” in J. Gould Myth, Ritual, Memory and Exchange. 2001 p. 203-34
  • J N Bremmer Greek Religion 1999 Introduction plus dip into the chapters
  • Price Religions of the Ancient Greeks 1999


On divination:

  • Eidinow Oracles, curses and risk among the ancient Greeks 2007 (OUP)
  • Fontenrose The Delphic Oracle: its responses and Operations with a catalogue of responses 1978
  • Morgan Athletes and Oracles 1990 (particularly good on origins of Delphic oracle)
  • Morgan “Divination and Society at Delphi and Didyma” Hermathena 1989 @
  • Maurizio “Anthropology and Spirit Possession: A reconsideration of the Pythia’s role at Delphi” JHS 1995 (115) 69-86
  • D Ogden Greek and Roman Necromancy 2004 p.3-12, Chapter 2, 6, 7, 11, 14, 15,16, Conclusions (147) 17-42
  • Parker “Greek Oracles and Greek States” in CRUX: Essays in Greek History presented to GEM de St Croix, Cartledge P. and Harvey F (Eds.) 1985 298-326.
  • Price “Delphi and Divination” in Greek Religion and Society Easterling P and Muir J V (eds.) 1985 p.128-154 &3


On Crisis:

  • Dillon Girls and Women in Classical Greek Religion 2001
  • Dowden Death of a Maiden 1989 p.2-8,193-202
  • Garland The Greek Way of Death 1985 p.23-37, 41-47, 77-123
  • H King 'Bound to bleed: Artemis and Greek women' in Images of Women in Antiquity A. Cameron and A. Kurht (Eds.) 1993. p. 109-27
  • D.C. Kurtz and J Boardman Greek Burial Customs 1971 p. 68-161
  • Morris Death Ritual and Social Structure in Classical Antiquity 1992 p. 8-30, and Chapters 4 and 5
  • Morris 'Attitudes towards death in archaic Greece' Classical Antiquity (1989) 8 p.296-320
  • Oakley Picturing Death in Classical Athens: the evidence of the white lekythoi 2004
  • Parker Miasma. Pollution and Purification in early Greek Religion 1983S Cole 'The Social Function of rituals of maturation: koureion and arkteia' in ZPE 1984 (55) p.233-44
  • Serwint 'The female athletic costume at the Heraia and Prenuptial Initiation Rites' in AJA 1993 p.403-22
  • Vidal Naquet The Black Hunter: Forms of thought and Forms of Society in the Greek world 1986 p. 106-22


On Influencing the Gods:

  • Burkert Homo Necans: the anthropology of ancient Greek sacrificial ritual and myth 1995
  • Burkert “Offerings in perspective: surrender, distribution, exchange” in T. Linders and G Nordquist (eds.) Gifts to the Gods 1987 p.43-50
  • Detienne and JP Vernant The Cuisine of Sacrifice among the Greeks 1989 p.3-20
  • L. Durand and A Schnapp “Sacrificial Slaughter and Initiatory Hunt” in C. Berard et al. A City of Images: Iconography and Society in Ancient Greece 1989
  • L. Gordon “The real and the imaginary: production and religion in the Greco-Roman world” in R L Gordon Image and Value in the Graeco-Roman world 1996 [Through inter-library loan]
  • D. Hughes Human Sacrifice in Ancient Greece 1991
  • Linders “Gods, Gifts, Society” in T. Linders and G Nordquist (eds.) Gifts to the Gods 1987 p.115-22 &1
  • M. Lewis “Temple inventories in ancient Greece” in M. Vickers (Ed.) Pots and Pans 1986 p.71-81 [Through inter-library loan]
  • Osborne “Hoards, votives, offerings: the archaeology of the dedicated object” in R. Osborne (ed.) The Object of Dedication World Archaeology 36.1 2004
  • Osborne “Women and Sacrifice in Classical Greece” CQ 43 1993 392-405
  • Pulleyn Prayer in Greek Religion 1997
  • Parker Pleasing Thighs: Reciprocity in Greek Religion” in C. Gill et al. (eds.) Reciprocity in Ancient Greece 1998 p.105-25
  • Rosivach The System of Public Sacrifice in 4th century Athens 1994 &2
  • Schachter “The Politics of Dedication: Two Athenian dedications at the sanctuary of Apollo Ptoion in Boeotia” in R. Osborne and S Hornblower Ritual, Finance, Politics 1994 p. 291-306
  • Snodgrass “Interaction by design: the Greek city state” in J. Cherry and Colin Renfrew Peer Polity Interaction and Socio-Political Change 1986
  • T. van Straten “Votaries and Votives in Greek Sanctuaries” in R Buxton (ed.) Oxford Readings in Greek Religion 2000 p. 191-223
  • Versnel “Religious Mentality in Ancient Prayer” in H Versnal (ed.) Faith, Hope and Worship: aspects of religion in the ancient world 1981 p.1-64
  • J Whitley The Archaeology of Ancient Greece 2001 Chapter 7 and 12
  • de Polignac Cults, territory, and the origins of the Greek city-state 1995 p.32-41, 81-88,98-105.


Festivals and Mystery Cults:

  • R. Connor ‘Tribes, Festivals, and Processions: Civic Ceremonial and Political Manipulation in Archaic Greece’, Oxford Readings in Greek Religion, ed. R. Buxton, 2000, pp. 56-75.
  • Goldhill, S., ‘The Great Dionysia and Civic Ideology’, in Nothing to Do with Dionysos? Athenian Drama in its Social Context, eds. J. J. Winkler and F. I. Zeitlin, 1990, pp. 97-129.
  • Goldhill, S., ‘Representing Democracy: Women at the Great Dionysia’, in Ritual, Finance, Politics: Athenian Democratic Accounts Presented to David Lewis, eds. R. Osborne and S. Hornblower, 1994, pp. 347-369.
  • Neils, J., ed., Goddess and Polis: The Panathenaic Festival in Ancient Athens, 1992.
  • Parker, R., Athenian Religion: A History, 1996. p.89-101 and for Mystery cults Appendix 4: p. 333-342
  • Sourvinou-Inwood, C., ‘Something to do with Athens: Tragedy and Ritual’, in Ritual, Finance, Politics: Athenian Democratic Accounts Presented to David Lewis, eds. R. Osborne and S. Hornblower, 1994, pp. 269-290.
  • Clinton, K., ‘The Thesmophorion in central Athens and the celebration of the Thesmophoria in Attica’ in The Role of Religion in the Early Greek Polis, ed. R. Hägg, 1996, pp. 111-125.
  • Cole, S. G., ‘Demeter in the ancient Greek city and its countryside’ in Oxford Readings in Greek Religion, ed. R. Buxton, 2000, pp. 133-154.
  • Detienne, M., ‘The violence of wellborn ladies: women in the Thesmophoria’, in The Cuisine of Sacrifice among the Greeks, eds. M. Detienne and J.-P. Vernant, 1989, pp. 129-147.
  • Dillon, M., Girls and Women in Classical Greek Religion, 2001, pp. 109-138.
  • Lowe, N., ‘Thesmophoria and Haloa: myth, physics and mysteries’, in The Sacred and the Feminine, eds. S. Blundell and M. Williamson, 1998, pp. 149-173.
  • Osborne, R., ‘Women and Sacrifice in Classical Greece’, in Oxford Readings in Greek Religion, ed. R. Buxton, 2000, pp. 294-313. (read with M. Detienne’s article above)
  • Raschke, W. (ed.) The Archaeology of the Olympics, 1988. p. 110-115 and Chapter 13 [Through inter-library loan]
  • J Harrison Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion 1901 Chapter 10,11,12
  • Burkert Ancient Mystery Cults 1987 p. 1-11 and Chapter 2 p.30-53
  • M B Cavanagh Eleusis and Athens: documents in finance, religion and politics in the fifth century BC 1996
  • Heinrichs “Between country and city: cultic dimensions of Dionysus in Athens and Attica” in M. Griffith and D J Mastronade (eds.) Cabinet of the Muses 1990 p. 257-77
  • Seaford “Dionysiac Drama and the Dionysiac Mysteries” Classical Quarterly 31 (1981) 252-75
  • Clinton Myth and Cult: the iconography of the Eleusinian Mysteries 1992 [Through inter-library loan]
  • Mylonas Eleusis and the Eleusinian Mysteries 1961 Chapter 9
  • Cosmopoulos Greek Mysteries. The Archaeology of Ancient Greek secret cults 2002
  • Parker “Early Orphism” in A Powell (ed.) The Greek World 1996 p.483-510 @
  • Bremmer 'Rationalization and Disenchantment in Ancient Greece: Max Weber among the Pythagoreans and Orphics?' in R. Buxton ed. From Myth to Reason (Oxford, 1999) 71–83


On Cognitive Science of Religion


  • Burkert Homo Necans: the anthropology of ancient Greek sacrificial ritual and myth 1995
  • Boyer Religion explained: the evolutionary origins of religious thought 2001
  • Cresswell Culture and the cognitive science of religion 2018
  • Larson Understanding Greek Religion: A Cognitive Approach 2016
  • van Eyghen, R. Peels, G. van den Brink New developments in the cognitive science of religion : the rationality of religious belief 2018
  • Watts and L. Turner Evolution, religion and cognitive science: critical and constructive essays 2014