Enter your mobile number below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
Getting the download link through email is temporarily not available. Please check back later.

  • Apple
  • Android
  • Windows Phone
  • Android

To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.

The Homeric Gods: The Spiritual Significance of Greek Religion (Mythology)

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0405105586
ISBN-10: 0405105584
Why is ISBN important?
ISBN
This bar-code number lets you verify that you're getting exactly the right version or edition of a book. The 13-digit and 10-digit formats both work.
Scan an ISBN with your phone
Use the Amazon App to scan ISBNs and compare prices.
Have one to sell? Sell on Amazon
More Buying Choices
9 Used from $60.15
Free Two-Day Shipping for College Students with Prime Student Free%20Two-Day%20Shipping%20for%20College%20Students%20with%20Amazon%20Student

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

The Amazon Book Review
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
click to open popover

Editorial Reviews

Language Notes

Text: English, German (translation) --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Walter Friedrich Gustav Hermann Otto (usually shortened to Walter F. Otto; 22 June 1874 in Hechingen - 23 September 1958 in Tubingen) was a German classical philologist particularly known for his work on the meaning and legacy of Greek religion and mythology. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

New York Times best sellers
Browse the New York Times best sellers in popular categories like Fiction, Nonfiction, Picture Books and more. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Mythology
  • Hardcover: 310 pages
  • Publisher: Arno Pr (February 1978)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0405105584
  • ISBN-13: 978-0405105586
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,399,776 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

5 star
67%
4 star
33%
3 star
0%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 3 customer reviews
Share your thoughts with other customers

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Walter Otto was a brilliant scholar of the ancient world, and writes as if its deepest values and even beliefs are still current to those who can comprehend their wonder. An English scholar even describes his book DIONYSUS: MYTH AND CULT not as a scholarly work (read: objective) but a piece of Bacchic literature. This title does not display such a subjective identification with Greek culture, but consider the subtitle, THE SPIRITUAL SIGNIFICANCE OF GREEK RELIGION. Not mythology, religion; not historical or cultural significance, but spiritual.
And Professor Otto displays this spirituality throughout the book. I thoroughly appreciate as a student of myth, and deeply love as one committed to spirituality his approach. He is persuasive in portraying the ancient gods as believers felt their power and were convinced of their presence. His central thesis is that the Greek deities were gods of fully realized BEING, that they completely fulfilled their roles as lords of the universe, and that they were eminently worthy of the worship they inspired. Completely absent from his writing is any notion that Greek polytheism is a lesser spiritual reality than, say, Judaic monotheism; or that this religion (yes, religion, not mythology) can be reduced to the level of folktales as in the view of the Enlightenment. Poets over the intervening centuries have evoked these gods and goddesses with reverence approaching belief, Holderlin, Rilke, perhaps Keats. Otto is the scholar who provides an intellectual basis for such reverence. I have read this book twice; I hold it close to me, intellectually, emotionally, and yes - spiritually.
Comment 9 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
The review below, "genius, genius, monstrously flawed"--otherwise very thoughtful and helpful--misleadingly suggests that Otto may have been an out and out Nazi. I quote below from Wikipedia:

'In 1934, the Nazi regime forced Otto to accept the offer to serve as the successor to Paul Maas, who was removed from his position for being of Jewish descent, in Königsberg. From 1933 to 1945, Otto was a member - and from 1935, the administrator - of the "Scientific Committee" of the Nietzsche Archive. In 1939 and 1940, he, together with Karl Reinhardt and Ernesto Grassi, published a yearbook entitled Geistige Überlieferung ("Spiritual Tradition"). In the introduction, Otto expressed his concern regarding the destiny of the classical tradition, and the yearbook was subsequently banned by the government. He was able to flee Königsberg in 1944, but through the process lost all of his possessions, including his personal library and manuscripts. From that point until the end of the Second World War, Otto found refuge in Elmau near Garmisch-Partenkirchen in Bavaria, where he entertained the local community with lectures and small theatrical performances.'
1 Comment 7 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse
Format: Hardcover
In many ways, this is incomparably the best guide ever written to Greek and especially Homeric religious ideas. Its historicizing theories as to the earlier and later elements of Greek religion were dead before Otto wrote it, killed by Dumezil's observation that the time elements in a mythical narrative are as much part of the myth as everything else and cannot be use to separate its elements; but its recreation of the Greek religious and imaginative world is unsurpassed. One just has to compare Otto's description of the leading gods with that of his more popular contemporary Kerenyi, to realize how much more vivid, concete, lively, and above all conclusive and certain, it is. Kerenyi parades before us his knowledge of complex data by setting us riddles that he only half-solves, and leaves in a cloud of slightly charlatan-like cleverness; Otto descrobes something that is internally coherent and externally commanding, and that, one feels, can easily have been the object of a cult. The last five words of his description of Athena are worth a whole treatise.

This being the case, why is Otto neither read nor reprinted, while other members of the same generation - Eliade, Kerenyi, Dumezil - live vigorously in the bookstore and the classroom? Well, one obvious reason is the translation. I do not think that there has ever been a case in the history of human thought in which a mind of such exceptional poetic and imaginative power has been saddled with a translator so completely deaf to all the merits of language. I doubt that there is a single sentence in this English version that could not be recast to sound better. The sense of plod, plod, plod, seizes any sensitive reader from page one, and never leaves.

However, there are more substantial reasons.
Read more ›
6 Comments 16 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
Report abuse