Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Greek Religion - Essays

ASSESSED ESSAY - TERM 1

Deadline: Thursday 5th December (Week 10)

Please respond to one of the following essays:

Note - books marked with an @ are available online at the Library

‘Everything is full of Gods’ (Thales of Miletus). How true is this as a description of Greek religion?

J Bremmer Greek Religion (Introduction) 1999 &3

Buxton (ed.) Oxford Readings in Greek Religion (Introduction) 2000 &4

Burkert Greek Religion (Introduction) 1985 @

R. Dodds ‘The Religion of the Ordinary Man in Classical Greece’ in E. R. Dodds The Ancient Concept of Progress and other essays 1973.140-55 &3

Eidinow and J. Kindt Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Religion 2016 @

Eidinow, J. Kindt and R. Osborne Theologies of ancient Greek religion 2016 @

Gould ‘On making sense of Greek religion’ in P. Easterling and J. Muir (eds.) Greek Religion and Society 1987.1-35 &3

Gordon (ed.) Myth, religion and society 1981 &3

Kearns ‘Order, Interaction and Authority: ways of looking at Greek religion in M. Morford et al (eds.). Classical Mythology 2011 &3

Larson ‘A Land full of Gods: Nature Deities in Greek Religion’ in D. Ogden (ed.) Blackwell Companion to Greek Religion 2007 (56-70) @

Larson Understanding Greek Religion: A Cognitive Approach 2016 @

D. Nock ‘Religious Attitudes of the Ancient Greeks’ in A. D. Nock Essays on Religion and the Ancient World 1972 vol.2 161-88 &2

Ogden (ed.) Blackwell Companion to Greek Religion 2007 @

Powell (ed). The Greek World 1996.511-529 @

Price Religions of the Ancient Greeks (Introduction) 1999 @

Woodard (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Greek Mythology 2007 @

 

What role did the early poets have in shaping Greek religion?

J Bremmer Greek Religion (Introduction) 1999 &3

Bremmer and A. Erskine (eds)The gods of ancient Greece: identities and transformations 2010 @

Buxton (ed.) Oxford Readings in Greek Religion (Introduction) 2000 &4

Burkert Greek Religion (Introduction) 1985 @

R. Dodds ‘The Religion of the Ordinary Man in Classical Greece’ in E. R. Dodds The Ancient Concept of Progress and other essays 1973.140-55 &3

Dowden and N. Livingstone A Companion to Greek Mythology, 2011 @

Eidinow and J. Kindt Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Religion 2016 @

Eidinow, J. Kindt and R. Osborne Theologies of ancient Greek religion 2016 @

Gould ‘On making sense of Greek religion’ in P. Easterling and J. Muir (eds.) Greek Religion and Society 1987.1-35 &3

Gordon (ed.) Myth, religion and society 1981 &3

Graziosi ‘Theologies of the family in Homer and Hesiod’ in E. Eidinow, J. Kindt and R. Osborne Theologies of ancient Greek religion 2016 (35-61) @

Kearns ‘Order, Interaction and Authority: ways of looking at Greek religion in

Larson Understanding Greek Religion: A Cognitive Approach 2016 (esp. 23-31) @

Morford et al (eds.). Classical Mythology 2011

D. Nock ‘Religious Attitudes of the Ancient Greeks’ in A. D. Nock Essays on Religion and the Ancient World 1972 vol.2 161-88 &2

Ogden (ed.) Blackwell Companion to Greek Religion 2007 @

Powell (ed). The Greek World 1996.511-29 @

Price Religions of the Ancient Greeks (Introduction) 1999 @

Woodard (ed.). The Cambridge Companion to Greek Mythology 2007 @

 

 

To what extent did the concept of the ‘Twelve Olympians’ play an important role in Greek religious life?

Assman ‘Monotheism and Polytheism’ in S. I Johnston (ed). Religions of the Ancient World: a guide 2004 &3

Borgeaud The Cult of Pan in Ancient Greece 1988 &

Bruit-Zaidman and P. Schmitt-Pantel Religion in the Greek City 1992 @

Dowden ‘Olympian Gods, Olympian Pantheon’ in D. Ogden (ed.) Blackwell Companion to Greek Religion 2007 (41-56) @

Garland Introducing New Gods: the politics of Athenian religion 1992 &3

Larson ‘Greece’ in B. Stanley-Spaeth (ed.) Cambridge Companion to Ancient Mediterranean Religions 2014.136-56 @

Larson Understanding Greek Religion: A Cognitive Approach 2016 (esp. Chapter One) @

Mikalson ‘Greece’ in S I Johnston Religions of the Ancient World: a guide 2004 &3

Mikalson Ancient Greek Religion 2010 @

Mikalson Athenian Popular Religion 1983&3

Parker Athenian religion: a history 1996 &5

Parker Polytheism and Society at Athens 2005 @

 

 

Which was the best way of understanding the will of the gods in Ancient Greece?

Bonnechere ‘Divination” in D. Ogden (ed.) Blackwell Companion to Greek Religion 2007 (145-160) @

Bowden Classical Athens and the Delphic Oracle 2005 &3

Eidinow Oracles, curses and risk among the ancient Greeks 2007 (OUP) @

Flaceliere Greek Oracles 1961 &2

Flower The Seer in Ancient Greece 2008 @

I. Johnston and P. Struck (eds). Mantike: Studies in Ancient Divination 2005 @

Morgan Athletes and Oracles 1990 (particularly good on origins of Delphic oracle) &3

Morgan “Divination and Society at Delphi and Didyma” Hermathena 1989 (147) 17-42 @

D Ogden Greek and Roman Necromancy 2004 &3

Parke Greek Oracles 1967 &2

Parker ‘Greek States and Greek Oracles’ in R. Buxton Oxford Readings in Greek Religion 2000.76-108 &4

Price ‘Delphi and divination’ in P. Easterling and J. Muir (eds.). Greek Religion and Society 1987.155-190 &3

Scott Delphi: a history of the centre of the ancient world 2014 @

C R Whittaker ‘The Delphic Oracle: belief and behaviour in ancient Greece – and Africa’ in Harvard Theological Review 1965 (58) 21-47 @

 

 

ASSESSED ESSAY - TERM 2

Deadline: Monday 24th February (Week 8)

Please respond to one of the following essays:

 

The gods had to respond to human favours. Discuss.

J Bremmer Greek Religion (Introduction) 1999 &3

Bremmer ‘Greek Normative Animal Sacrifice’ in D. Ogden (ed.) Blackwell Companion to Greek Religion 2007 (132-144) @

Buxton (ed.) Oxford Readings in Greek Religion (Introduction) 2000 &4

Burkert Greek Religion (Introduction) 1985 @

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 &1

Detienne and J.-P. Vernant (eds). The Cuisine of Sacrifice among the Greeks 1989 &3

Dickie Magic and Magicians in the Greco-Roman world 2003 @

Eidinow Oracles, curses and risk among the ancient Greeks 2007 (OUP) @

C Faraone Ancient Greek Love Magic 1999

A. Faraone and F. S. Naiden Greek and Roman animal sacrifice: ancient victims, modern observers 2012 @

Fontenrose The Delphic oracle: its responses and operations with a catalogue of responses 1981 &2

Gager Curse Tablets and binding spells from the ancient world 1999 @

Hitch and I. Rutherford (eds) Animal sacrifice in the ancient Greek world 2017 @

D. Hughes Human Sacrifice in ancient Greece 1991 @

I. Johnston Ancient Greek Divination 2008 @

Larson Understanding Greek Religion: A Cognitive Approach 2016 @

Morgan Athletes and Oracles 1990 &3

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 &3

Ogden Magic Witchcraft and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman worlds: a sourcebook 2002 &3

Parker ‘Pleasing thighs: reciprocity in Greek Religion’ in C. Gill, N. Postlethwaite and R. Seaford ed. Reciprocity in Ancient Greece 1998.105-25 &1

Price “Delphi and Divination” in Greek Religion and Society Easterling P and Muir J V (eds.) 1985 p.128-154 &3

Pulleyn Prayer in Greek Religion 1997 @

Rosivach The System of Public Sacrifice in 4th century Athens 1994 &2

Scott Delphi and Olympia: the spatial politics of panhellenism in the archaic and classical periods 2010 &3

Scott ‘Displaying lists of what is (not) on display: the uses of inventories in Greek sanctuaries’ in M. Haysom and J. Wallenstein Current approaches to religion in ancient Greece 2011.239-52 &2

Spawforth The Complete Greek Temples 2006 &5

T. Van Straten ‘Gifts to the gods’ in H. Versnel ed. Faith, Hope and Worship 1981.65-151 &1

T. Van Straten ‘Votives and votaries in Greek Sanctuaries’ in A. Schachter ed. Le sanctuaire Grec 1992.247-84 &1

 

 

 

How did the concept of miasma affect Greek ritual practice?

Bendlin ‘Purity and Pollution’ in D. Ogden (ed.) Blackwell Companion to Greek Religion 2007 (178-189) @

Burkert Greek Religion 1985 @

Garland The Greek Way of Life 1990 &3

Garland The Greek Way of Death 1985 &2

Dowden Death and a Maiden 1989 @

Hamilton Choes and Anthesteria. Athenian iconography and ritual. 1992 &3

King ‘Bound to bleed: Artemis and Greek Women’ in A. Cameron and A. Kurht (eds). Images of Women in Antiquity 1993.109-27 @

C. Kurtz and J Boardman Greek Burial Customs 1971 &3

Larson Understanding Greek Religion: A Cognitive Approach 2016 (187-249) @

I Morris ‘Attitudes towards Death in archaic Greece’ Classical Antiquity (8) 1989.296-320 @

I Morris Death-Ritual and Social structure in Classical Antiquity 1992 @

Parker Miasma. Pollution and Purification in early Greek Religion 1983 &2

Sourvinou-Inwood ‘Reading’ Greek death to the end of the Classical Period 1995 &1

Vidal Naquet The Black Hunter: Forms of Thought and Forms of Society in the Greek World 1986 &3

 

 

Greek festivals were foremost religious in character rather than political or cultural. Discuss.

Alcock and R. Osborne (eds). Placing the Gods, Sanctuaries and Sacred Space in Ancient Greece 1994.199-216 @

J Bremmer Greek Religion (Introduction) 1999 &3

Bruit-Zaidman and P. Schmitt-Pantel Religion in the Greek City 1992 @

B. Cavanaugh Eleusis and Athens: documents in finance, religion and politics in the 5th century BC 1996 &3

B. Cosmopoulos Greek Mysteries: the Archaeology of Ancient Greek Secret Cults. 2002 @

Eidinow Ancient Greek Religion: 'Embedded . . . and Embodied' in K. Vlassopoulos and C. Taylor (eds.) Communities and Networks in the Ancient Greek World 2015. 54-79 @

Hägg (ed.) The Role of Religion in the Early Greek Polis 1996 &1

Neils (ed.) Goddess and Polis: the Panathenaic festival in ancient Athens. 1992 &1

Parker Polytheism and Society at Athens 2005 @

Scullion, '‘Nothing to do with Dionysus’: tragedy misconceived as ritual." The Classical Quarterly 2002, 52, 102-137 @

Winkler and F. Zeitlin eds. Nothing to Do With Dionysos? 1992 [see especially the Introduction and the essay by Goldhill; this is a highly influential but also a very controversial volume: use with care] &5

 

To what extent was Greek religion 'public and communal rather than private and individual' (Bremmer 1994, 1)?

J Bremmer Greek Religion (Introduction) 1999 &3

Bruit-Zaidman and P. Schmitt-Pantel Religion in the Greek City 1992 @

Eidinow Ancient Greek Religion: 'Embedded . . . and Embodied' in K. Vlassopoulos and C. Taylor eds. Communities and Networks in the Ancient Greek World 2015. 54-79 @

Hägg (ed.) The Role of Religion in the Early Greek Polis 1996 &1

Kindt Rethinking Greek Religion 2012 [see especially the introduction and chapter 1] @

Parker Polytheism and Society at Athens 2005 @

See the important essays by Sourvinou-Inwood reprinted in R. Buxton (ed.) Oxford Readings in Greek Religion 2000 &4

 

6. ‘Man is a religious animal’ (Mark Twain). Discuss, using a Cognitive approach, how Greek religion agrees with this statement.

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 @