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Greek Religion - Essays

ASSESSED ESSAY - TERM 1

Deadline: Wednesday 16th November (Week 7)

Please respond to one of the following essays:

1. To what extent did the Greeks believe in the gods as described by poets such as Homer and Hesiod?
*J. Gould ‘On making sense of Greek religion’ in P. Easterling and J. Muir (eds.) Greek Religion and Society 1987.1-35.

*R. Buxton (ed.) Oxford Readings in Greek Religion (Introduction) 2000

*E. Kearns ‘Order, Interaction and Authority: ways of looking at Greek religion in A. Powell (ed). The Greek World 1996.511-29

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

E. 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.

W. Burkert Greek Religion (Introduction) 1985

J Bremmer Greek Religion (Introduction) 1999

S. Price Religions of the Ancient Greeks (Introduction) 1999

D. Ogden (ed.) Blackwell Companion to Greek Religion 1997

R. Gordon (ed.) Myth, religion and society 1981

M. Morford et al (eds.). Classical Mythology 2011

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

W. Burkert Homo Necans. The Anthropology of Greek sacrificial ritual and myth 1983

2. Were there any limits to the ancient Greek pantheon?
J. Assman ‘Monotheism and Polytheism’ in S. I Johnston (ed). Religions of the Ancient World 2004

P. Borgeaud The Cult of Pan in Ancient Greece 1988

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

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

J. Mikalson ‘Greece’ in S I Johnston Religions of the Ancient World: a guide 2004.210-9.

J. Mikalson Ancient Greek Religion 2010.

J. Mikalson Athenian Popular Religion 1983

R. Garland Introducing New Gods: the politics of Athenian religion 1992

R. Parker Athenian religion: a history 1996

R. Parker Polytheism and Society at Athens 2005

3. To what extent did the Greeks believe that the divine was just or good?
*W. Allan, Divine justice and cosmic order in early Greek epic. The Journal of Hellenic Studies, 2006,126, 1-35.

D. L. Cairns, Hybris, dishonour, and thinking big. The Journal of Hellenic Studies, 1996, 116, 1-32.

E.R. Dodds, The Greeks and the Irrational 1951 [chs.1-2].

K.J. Dover, ‘The Portrayal of Moral Evaluation in Greek Poetry’, Journal of Hellenic Studies 1983, 103, 35-48

*H. Lloyd-Jones, The justice of Zeus 1983.

J. D. Mikalson, Athenian Popular Religion 1983

J. D. Mikalson, Honor thy gods: popular religion in Greek tragedy 1991

M. Winterbottom, Speaking of the gods’, Greece and Rome 1989, 36: 33-41.

4. To what extent did ideas regarding religion and the gods change in the fifth century?

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

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

*R. Buxton (ed.) From Myth to Reason? Studies in the Development of Greek Thought 2001. [See especially the introduction]

E.R. Dodds, The Greeks and the Irrational 1951 [chs.1-2].

J. D. Mikalson, Athenian Popular Religion 1983.

*R. Garland Introducing New Gods: the politics of Athenian religion 1992.

*R. Parker Athenian religion: a history 1996.

ASSESSED ESSAY TERM 2

Deadline: Monday 6th March (Week 9)

Please respond to one of the following essays

1 How and why did the concept of pollution affect Greek ritual practice?
R. Garland The Greek Way of Life 1990

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

R. Garland The Greek Way of Death 1985

I Morris Death Ritual and Social structure in Classical Antiquity 1992

K. Dowden Death and a Maiden 1989

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

P. Vidal Naquet Black Hunter: Forms of Thought and Forms of Society in the Greek World 1986

R. Hamilton Choes and Anthesteria. Athenian iconography and ritual. 1992

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

D C Kurtz and J Boardman Greek Burial Customs 1971

C. Sourvinou-Inwood ‘Reading’ Greek death to the end of the Classical Period 1995

2. Why did the Greeks believe it was important to consult oracles and seers?
H. Bowden Classical Athens and the Delphic Oracle 2005

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

M. Flower The Seer in Ancient Greece 2008

M. Scott Delphi: centre of the ancient world 2014

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

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

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

H. Parke Greek Oracles 1967

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)

D Ogden Greek and Roman Necromancy 2004

R Flaceliere Greek Oracles 1961

3. To what extent did the Greeks believe they could influence the divine?
S. Pulleyn Prayer in Greek Religion 1997

M. Detienne and J-P Vernant (eds). The Cuisines of Sacrifice among the Greeks 1989

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

D D Hughes Human Sacrifice in ancient Greece 1991

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

M. Scott Delphi and Olympia: the spatial politics of panhellenism in the archaic and classical periods 2010

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

M. 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

T. Spawforth The Complete Greek Temples 2006

D. Ogden Magic Witchcraft and Ghosts in the Greek and Roman worlds: a sourcebook 2002

M. Dickie Magic and Magicians in the Greco-Roman world 2003

J. Gager Curse Tablets and binding spells from the ancient world. 1992

C Faraone Ancient Greek Love Magic 1999

4. To what extent were festivals religious, rather than political or cultural, events?

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

J Bremmer Greek Religion (Introduction) 1999

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

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

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

*E. 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

R. Hagg ed. The Role of Religion in the Early Greek Polis 1996.

J. Neils ed Goddess and Polis: the Panathenaic festival in ancient Athens. 1992

*R. Parker Polytheism and Society at Athens 2005

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

*J. 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

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

*E. 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

R. Hagg ed. The Role of Religion in the Early Greek Polis 1996.

*J. Kindt Rethinking Greek Religion 2012 [see especially the introduction and chapter 1]

*R. 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