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The Mysteries of Artemis of Ephesos (Synkrisis) [Kindle Edition]

Guy MacLean Rogers
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Artemis of Ephesos was one of the most widely worshiped deities of the Graeco-Roman World. Her temple, the Artemision, was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, and for more than half a millennium people flocked to Ephesos to learn the great secret of the mysteries and sacrifices that were celebrated every year on her birthday.

In this work Guy MacLean Rogers sets out the evidence for the celebration of Artemis's mysteries against the background of the remarkable urban development of the city during the Roman Empire and then proposes an entirely new theory about the great secret that was revealed to initiates into Artemis's mysteries. The revelation of that secret helps to explain not only the success of Artemis's cult and polytheism itself but, more surprisingly, the demise of both and the success of Christianity. Contrary to many anthropological and scientific theories, the history of polytheism, including the celebration of Artemis's mysteries, is best understood as a Darwinian tale of adaptation, competition, and change.

Editorial Reviews


A magnificent reconstruction of the cult and mysteries of Artemis of Ephesos, capital of the province of Asia Minor and one of the most impressive archaeological sites. Rogers offers many intriguing and provoking hypotheses, based on a profound knowledge of the inscriptions and of the abundant secondary literature, especially those in German, the language of the city’s Austrian excavators.—H.W. Pleket, University of Leiden
(H. W. Pleket 2012-07-23)

Rogers provides a meticulous and vividly detailed recreation of the history of a single cult, grounded in a mastery of all the relevant evidence and carefully situated in its wider political, social, and cultural context. This book contributes significantly to our appreciation for the complex texture of religious life in the Graeco-Roman world.—James Rives, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
(James Rives 2012-07-23)

This magisterial study of the complex evolution of one of Greek antiquity’s most intriguing and long-lasting ritual traditions offers new insights into the attractions of ancient polytheism. Historians of religion, and of the Roman empire too, are greatly in Rogers’ debt.—Greg Woolf, University of St. Andrews
(Greg Woolf 2012-07-23)

About the Author

Guy MacLean Rogers is Kemper Professor of History and Classics at Wellesley College. He is the author of The Sacred Identity of Ephesos: Foundation Myths of a Roman City, Alexander: The Ambiguity of Greatness, and Roots of the Western Tradition: A Short History of the Ancient World. He lives in Litchfield County, CT.

Product Details

  • File Size: 3214 KB
  • Print Length: 528 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press (November 12, 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00A21TWUQ
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #646,732 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very deep and very comprehensive March 3, 2014
By Aaron W
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the book we wish we had for Eluesis ... But having it for Ephesus sheds great light on Greek religion as well. This work has scholarly depth, but anyone interested in behind the scenes mystery religion will find a great deal of benefit here.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A worthwhile read. June 13, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I got an insight into politics of religion and the economics of religion in the Ancient World. For someone who is fascinated by Ephesus, there is information about the city, its buildings and streets. There is biographical information on some of the families and individuals who were among the leaders of the city.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great history March 12, 2014
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a very special book providing a very special focus on an ancient religious cult that had an immense following. If you want to understand the power of pagan religion in ancient times, this is a book for you. The author is a well-known professor of ancient Greece at Wellesley College who will engage you in a good read. He knows his subject, and as a true scholar of ancient history, brings to the table a deep knowledge of the peoples, languages and cultures of the time.
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