By Jennifer Larson
Utilizing archaeological, epigraphic and literary resources, and incorporating present scholarly theories, this quantity bargains an obtainable account of the Greek gods for undergraduate students.
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Additional info for Ancient Greek cults : a guide
At a minimum, they included a space set aside for sacred use, and an altar (bmos or eschara), the indispensable point of con tact with the divine. Sanctuary altars were nearly always open to the sky rather than indoors. They varied from simple fire pits on the ground, to marble blocks the size of a piece of furniture, to elaborate stone monuments hundreds of feet long with sculpted relief decoration. The altar served as a platform on which to deposit and burn offerings: incense, cakes, blood and other liquids, or animal flesh.
In the study of Greek cults, it may be preferable to abandon the concept of a strong opposition between Olympian and chthonian deities, since the character of a given deity depends upon the context. 22 Religious authority It is often observed that Greek religion possessed no denominations or central organization, no dogmas, no scriptures, and no creed. The lack of these features, which in modern religious contexts provide the basis for religious authority, along with the polytheism of the Greeks, might mislead us into thinking that individuals exercised a great deal of individual choice in the matter of religion.
Including an introductory chapter on sources and methods, and suggestions for further reading, this book will allow readers to gain a fresh perspective on Greek religion. Jennifer Larson is Professor of Classics at Kent State University. Her research lies in the fields of Greek poetry, mythology, and religion, and she is the author of Greek Heroine Cults (1995) and Greek Nymphs: Myth, Cult, Lore (2001). ANCIENT GREEK CULTS A guide Jennifer Larson NEW YORK AND LONDON First published 2007 by Routledge 270 Madison Ave, New York, NY 10016 Simultaneously published in the UK by Routledge 2 Park Square, Milton Park, Abingdon, Oxon OX14 4RN Routledge is an imprint of the Taylor & Francis Group, an informa business This edition published in the Taylor & Francis e-Library, 2007.