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Greek Religion - Syllabus

Lecture Topics

Term 1

Week 1: Introduction

Week 2: The World is Full of Gods: Ancient Greek Polytheism

Week 3: Influencing the gods (1): Sacrifice Seminar 1: Communicating with the gods

Week 4: Influencing the gods (2): Magic, Curses, Oaths, and Prayer

Week 5: Consulting the gods (1): Oracles and Divination

Week 6: Reading Week

Week 7: Consulting the gods (2): Consulting the Dead; Student Sessions in library?

Week 8: Religion and the Realities of Life (1): Pollution Seminar 2: Negotiating Crises

Week 9: Religion and the Realities of Life (2): Birth, Marriage, and Maturation

Week 10: Religion and the Realities of Life (3): Health and Death Essay 1 hand-in


Term 2

Week 1: Religious experts: Priests, Oracular Personnel, and Soothsayers

Week 2: Spheres of Religion: Individual, Polis, Regional and PanHellenic Religion

Week 3: Sanctuaries (1): Sacred spaces Seminar 3: Festivals and Sanctuaries

Week 4: Sanctuaries (2): Oracles and Athletes

Week 5: Review of Evidence for Greek Religion Seminar 3: Ancient Sites Database

Week 6: Reading Week

Week 7: Festivals (1): Overview of Some Important Festivals; Essay 2 hand in

Week 8: Festivals (2): Women’s Festivals Seminar 4: Mysteries

Week 9: Mystery Cults: Eleusis, the Kabeiroi, Orphism, and Pythagorism

Week 10: Religious change (1) Religious diversity; foreign gods; new gods; gods at Delos (Roman;Jewish; Egyptian; Syrian); adaption of gods and Rome


Term 3

Week 1: Religious change (2): Philosophy and Atheism

Week 2: Exam Revision: Gobbets

Week 3: Exam revision: Essays