Skip to main content

Greek Religion - Bibliography

Key edited volumes and websites to consult throughout the course and for completion of the Sacred Sites database:

www.atticinscriptions.com (English translations of key inscriptions like the Sacred Calender from Thorikos)

P. Easterling and J. Muir (eds). Greek Religion and Society 1987
N. Marinatos and R. Hagg (eds). Greek Sanctuaries: New approaches 1993
S. Alcock and R. Osborne (eds). Placing the Gods, Sanctuaries and Sacred Space in Ancient Greece 1994
R. Hagg (ed.) Ancient Greek Cult Practice from the Archaeological Evidence 1998
D. Ogden (ed.) Blackwell Companion to Greek Religion 2007
M. Haysom + J. Wallenstein (eds). Current Approaches to religion in ancient Greece 2011
S I Johnston (ed.) Religions of the Ancient World: a guide 2004
A. Schacter (ed). Le Sanctuaire Grec 1992
R. Buxton (ed.) Oxford Readings in Greek Religion 2000
B. Wescoat + R. Ousterhout (eds). Architecture of the Sacred 2012
E. Eidinow and J. Kindt Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Religion (Not yet published but may be out during the academic year!)

THESCRA – Thesaurus Cultus Et Rituum Antiquorum (biographies of sites, ideas and objects associated with Greek religion).

Kernos – Supplments series. Journal dedicated to Greek religion, with regular supplements published in French and English on particular aspects of Greek religious practice)

R. Tomlinson Greek Sanctuaries 1976

A W Lawrence Greek Architecture 1983

C. Mee and A. Spawforth Greece: the Oxford Archaeological Guide 2001

A. Spawforth The Complete Greek Temples 2006

J. Pedley Sanctuaries and the Sacred in the Ancient Greek World 2005

M. Emerson Greek Sanctuaries: an introduction 2007

J. Whitley The Archaeology of Ancient Greece 2001

On Greek religion in general:

R. Parker Athenian Religion: as history 1996. Intro plus chapters 4,5,6,7,8

R. Parker Polytheism and Society at Athens 2005

E. Kearns “Order, Interaction and Authority: ways of looking at Greek religion” in A Powell (ed.) The Greek World 1996 p. 511-29

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.

W R Connor “Sacred and Secular hiera and hosia in the Classical Athenian Concept of the State” in Ancient Society 1987 p.161-88

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

E R Dodds Greeks and the Irrational 1951 Introduction plus p. 18,254.

On the nature of Greek religion:

J. Gould “On making sense of Greek Religion” in J. Gould Myth, Ritual, Memory and Exchange. 2001 p. 203-34

H.Yunis A New Creed: Fundamental Religious Beliefs in the Athenian Polis and Euripidean Drama 1988 Part 1 p. 19-72. [Through inter-library loan]

R. Buxton Oxford Readings in Greek Religion 2000 Introduction plus dip into a chapter in each section for different approaches (particularly R. Fowler on “Greek Magic, Greek Religion” p.317-43

E. 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

W. Burkert Greek Religion 1985 Chapter I and Chapter V, p. 216-225.

J N Bremmer Greek Religion 1999 Introduction plus dip into the chapters

S. Price Religions of the Ancient Greeks 1999 Introduction plus Chapter 7

On divination:

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

R. 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.

J. Fontenrose The Delphic Oracle: its responses and Operations with a catalogue of responses 1978 p.1-26 and p.233-239 (flies in the face of all the classic literature on Delphic Oracle) [Through inter-library loan]

L. Maurizio “Anthropology and Spirit Possession: A reconsideration of the Pythia’s role at Delphi” JHS 1995 (115) 69-86. (Does the same for the process of consulting oracle at Delphi)

D Ogden Greek and Roman Necromancy 2004 p.3-12,Chapter 2, 6, 7, 11, 14, 15, 16, Conclusions

C. Morgan Athletes and Oracles 1990 (particularly good on origins of Delphic oracle)

C. Morgan “Divination and Society at Delphi and Didyma” Hermathena 1989 (147) 17-42. To read click here

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

On Crisis:

R Parker Miasma. Pollution and Purification in early Greek Religion 1983

R. Garland The Greek Way of Death 1985 p.23-37, 41-47, 77-123

DC Kurtz and J Boardman Greek Burial Customs 1971 p. 68-161

I Morris Death Ritual and Social Structure in Classical Antiquity 1992 p. 8-30, and Chapters 4 and 5

I Morris 'Attitudes towards death in archaic Greece' Classical Antiquity (1989) 8 p.296-320

J Oakley Picturing Death in Classical Athens: the evidence of the white lekythoi 2004

S Cole 'The Social Function of rituals of maturation: koureion and arkteia' in ZPE 1984 (55) p.233-44

P Vidal Naquet The Black Hunter: Forms of thought and Forms of Society in the Greek world 1986 p. 106-22

N. Serwint 'The female athletic costume at the Heraia and Prenuptial Initiation Rites' in AJA 1993 p.403-22

M Dillon Girls and Women in Classical Greek Religion 2001

K. Dowden Death of a Maiden 1989 p.2-8,193-202

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

On Influencing the Gods:

S Pulleyn Prayer in Greek Religion 1997

H 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

M. Detienneand JP Vernant The Cuisine of Sacrifice among the Greeks 1989 p.3-20

W. Burkert Homo Necans: the anthropology of ancient Greek sacrificial ritual and myth 1995

R Osborne “Women and Sacrifice in Classical Greece” CQ 43 1993 392-405

J L Durandand A Schnapp “Sacrificial Slaughter and Initiatory Hunt” in C. Berard et al. A City ofImages: Iconography and Society in Ancient Greece 1989

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

R Parker Pleasing Thighs: Reciprocity in Greek Religion” in C. Gill et al. (eds.) Reciprocity in Ancient Greece 1998 p.105-25

DD Hughes Human Sacrifice in Ancient Greece 1991 (particularly p.185 to end)

F T van Straten “Votaries and Votives in Greek Sanctuaries” in R Buxton (ed.) Oxford Readings in Greek Religion 2000 p. 191-223

A 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

T. Linders “Gods, Gifts, Society” in T. Linders and G Nordquist (eds.) Gifts to the Gods 1987 p.115-22.

W. Burkert “Offerings in perspective: surrender, distribution, exchange” in T. Linders and G Nordquist (eds.) Gifts to the Gods 1987 p.43-50

R 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 M Lewis “Temple inventories in ancient Greece” in M. Vickers (Ed.) Pots and Pans 1986 p.71-81 [Through inter-library loan]

R Osborne “Hoards, votives, offerings: the archaeology of the dedicated object” in R Osborne (ed.) The Object of Dedication World Archaeology 36.1 2004

J Whitley The Archaeology of Ancient Greece 2001 Chapter 7 and 12

F de Polignac Cults, territory, and the origins of the Greek city-state 1995 p.32-41, 81-88,98-105,

A. Snodgrass “Interaction by design: the Greek city state” in J. Cherry and Colin Renfrew Peer Polity Interaction and Socio-Political Change 1986

Festivals and Mystery Cults:

Connor, W. R., ‘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 Dioysia 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. (read with R. Osborne’s article below)

Dillon, M., Girls and Women in Classical Greek Religion, 2001, pp. 109-138.

Lowe, N., ‘Thesmophoria and Haloa: myth, physics and mysteries’, in The Saced andthe Feminine, eds. S. Blundell and M. Williamson, 1998, pp. 149-173.

Osborne, R., ‘Women and Sacrifice in Classical Greece’, in Oxford Readings inGreek 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

W. 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

A. 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

R. Seaford “Dionysiac Drama and the Dionysiac Mysteries” Classical Quarterly 31 (1981) 252-75

K. Clinton Myth and Cult: the iconography of the Eleusinian Mysteries 1992 [Through inter-library loan]

G. Mylonas Eleusis and the Eleusinian Mysteries 1961 Chapter 9

M. Cosmopoulos Greek Mysteries. The Archaeology of Ancient Greek secret cults 2002 Chapters 2,6,7,9

R. Parker “Early Orphism” in A Powell (ed) The Greek World 1996 p.483-510

J. 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