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Greek Religion Paperback – July 26, 1985
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From Library Journal
Copyright 1985 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
In this new book by Walter Burkert, professor of Greek at the University of Zurich and possibly the most eminent living student of ancient Greek religion, we are given the opportunity to enter into this strange world [of ancient Greece]...Mr. Burkert has told his fascinating story not only with immense learning but in a way that captures the interest and sympathy of the reader. (John Macquarrie New York Times Book Review)
The subject of Greek religion has recently received a masterly and elegant treatment in Walter Burkert's Greek Religion...beautifully translated by John Raffan. Like the Decalogue in the old saw, it arouses feelings of reverence not unmixed with awe at the author's grasp of his material and the acuity with which he uses the insights of psychology and sociology to show how the forms of Greek religion were able to satisfy many of the deepest needs of men...One will not often read a book that illuminates so profoundly what it was like to live in ancient Greece. (Richard Stoneman History Today)
The German edition of this book was published in 1977, and the author has added references to important new publications since that date. The introduction has a survey of previous scholarship, a discussion of the sources, and an explanation of the scope of the volume. What this book seeks to do is to indicate the manifold variety of the evidence and the problems of its interpretation, always with an awareness of the provisional nature of the undertaking. This new paperback edition makes an important work available at an economic price. (Manuscripta)
The many fine qualities of this book's original German version (Griechische Religion der archaischen and klassichen Epoche, 1977) have been noted in a veritable forest of reviews...The present English translation, with updated references and an inexpensive paperback edition, offers the prospect of use by American teachers and/or students...It is comprehensive in subject, rich in evidence of many types...and current...It is a peculiar excellence of this book that its usefulness to scholars does not make it less appropriate for students. Its length, in fact, is not at all excessive for a college text, and its many subdivisions make it easy to excerpt. (Robert M. Simms New England Classical Newsletter)
Top Customer Reviews
Burkett's book doesn't d othis. If you want to know how the Ancient Greeks PRACTICED religion, this is a great book, filled with fantastic detail. Burkett is neither a Frazer/Campbell Synthesist, nor a true Levi-Strauss Structuralist. Like the latter group, he delves into the details, discussing how the individual greek cities and cults practiced their religion.
By the time the book is complete, the reader has a crystal clear picture of the everyday spiritual life of an ancient greek citizen, from the archaic to the philosophical (even the the curses and phrases).
More than that, the book gives a clear definition of what a Polytheistic system of beliefs is like.
I definite part of any student of Greek History or General Mythology and Religion.
The material is diverse within it's scope. Whereas other survey-type texts only include an overview of the basic Olympian Gods, and perhaps a marginal mentioning of some of the major festivals, Burkert's text provides the reader with an in-depth look at all of those issues as well as giving the reader the, "why", as best as he could surmise through his research. He is blunt about stating the lack of comprehensive written resources, and does not speculate too far beyond the scant information he does possess. To the researcher this is valuable, as massive leaps are not made from what does exist to what may possibly have been the case.
As previously mentioned, the first few chapters of the text offer a brief chronology of what was happening spiritually in the pre-Hellenistic Minoan and Mycenaean civilizations. This provides the reader with an appropriate historical context within which to frame the discussion of later spiritual beliefs. The scope of the text covers a vast time period of that prehistory, from approximately 1500-1200 B.C., then continues on to describe the formation of a distinctly Greek religion developing from those antecedents at or about the ninth/eighth century.Read more ›
definitions of the mainstays of Greek religion - from temple (naos) to cult image (xaonon) to the gods themselves. Burkert's text is an invaluable resource no student of classical studies should be without.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
My advice with this book: be patient. It is a scholarly work that considers much at great depth and with serious consideration. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Will Jerom
The eminent scholar, Walter Burkert, gives a formidable in depth analysis of Greek religion and its function within the polis. Read morePublished on February 2, 2013 by Luc REYNAERT
Got this as a reference for a book I'm writing. In depth, well-written, excellent index. Matches related volumes then goes deeper. Read morePublished on January 31, 2013 by Amazon Customer
The only thing keeping me from giving this book a five-star review is that it is, essentially, a "text-book. Read morePublished on July 9, 2012 by Lykeios
Walter Burkert's Greek Religion is a classic in the field.
Detailed, exhaustive, challenging, and original.
Burkert's work on the Greek Religion takes the reader beyond the classic Bullfinch Mythology into the real nuts and bolts of religion in Greece and the surrounding areas. Read morePublished on May 14, 2009 by Christopher N. Temple
In this book, Walter Burkert seeks to provide a comprehensive study in Greek religion during the Hellenic are. Read morePublished on December 1, 2008 by Christopher R. Travers