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An Intro to Greek Religion

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An Intro to Greek Religion

Post  Erodius on Wed Jul 03, 2013 11:48 pm

Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion

The classic introduction to Greek religion by Jane Ellen Harrison, this text is still a major reference work for the study of Greek religion and is still often referenced even in recent Classical and Religious studies. It is beautifully readable, and, although it is not an all-encompassing work ('Prolegomena' is itself a Greek word used to refer to introductory-level texts for new students of particular subjects — a sort of, 'what you should know before you get into the deeper stuff') it will give anyone an excellent basis in the really essential core areas of Celestial/Olympian versus Terrestrial/Chthonic forms of worship, primary religious festivals, minor divinities (daemones, etc), major deities and the history behind their cults, and finally, a few chapters on what anyone should know about the Orphic religious  movement and its pivotal relationship and place within the grand theme of Greek religion (which, unfortunately, at least in my experience, by many individuals, even many  scholars, gets often overlooked entirely).

You can read it online, download it as a PDF, as a simple text file, as a Kindle book, and other formats likewise, free of charge, from the praiseworthy Archive.org:

Harrison: Prolegomena to the Study of Greek Religion

_________________
"O Best of Gods, blest daimon crown'd with fire . . . hear, and from punishment my soul absolve, the punishment incurr'd by pristine guilt, thro' Lethe's darkness and terrene desire: and if for long-extended years I'm doom'd in these drear realms Heav'n's exile to remain, O grant me soon the necessary means to gain that good which solitude confers on souls emerging from the bitter waves of fraudful Hyle's black, impetuous flood!"
-Iulianic Hymn to Apollon-Helios, ll. 65-106

"Having come for punishment, one must be punished. One must not pull apart the god within oneself."
-Iamblichus, Vita Pythagorica

"Truth would you teach, or save a sinking land,
All hear, none aid you, and few understand."
-Alexander Pope


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