At the heart of this volume are three trials held in Athens in the fourth century BCE. The defendants were all women and in each case the charges involved a combination of ritual activities. Two were condemned to death. Because of the brevity of the ancient sources, and their lack of agreement, the precise charges are unclear, and the reasons for taking these women to court remain mysterious. Envy, Poison, and Death takes the complexity and confusion ofthe evidence not as a riddle to be solved, but as revealing multiple social dynamics. It explores the changing factors—material, ideological, and psychological—that may have provoked these events,revealing how these trials provide a vivid glimpse of the socio-political environment of Athens during the early-mid fourth century BCE, including responses to changes in women's status and behaviour, and attitudes to particular supernatural or religious activities within the city.
The cultural impulse to try to anticipate the future, and make sense of apparently random events, is irrepressible. Perhaps the most famous of all sites of prediction is the Oracle at Delphi. And how the world of antiquity, and particularly the ancient Greeks, tried to foretell the outcome of the present, serves as Esther Eidinow's starting-point for an appraisal of that legacy of forecasting in our own era. Delphi is still invoked when business people discuss future strategy and risk; there is even a strategic planning technique called the 'Delphi Method'. But the Delphic Oracle is only the best known example of a physical landscape covered by oracular sanctuaries; while across classical li...
This handbook offers a comprehensive overview of scholarship in ancient Greek religion, from the Archaic to the Hellenistic periods. The handbook lays out the key dimensions of ancient Greek religion, approaches to evidence, and the representations of myths. The chapters reveal to readers the questions about, and the continuities and differences between, religious structures across time and place; including cultural interactions with Egypt, the Near East, theBlack Sea, and Bactria and India.
Oracles, Curses, and Risk Among the Ancient Greeks
A study of the question tablets from the oracle at Dodona and binding-curse tablets from across the ancient Greek world, These tablets reveal the hopes and anxieties of ordinary people, and help us to understand some of the ways in which they managed risk and uncertainty in their daily lives.
Illustrated with full-color plates and 140 black-and-white pictures, an encyclopedic, exhaustive, and up-to-date guide contains finely detailed articles and short reference notes on the people, places, and events that shaped ancient Western civilization. UP.
Completely revised and updated, the fourth edition of this established dictionary offers entries on all aspects of the classical world. With reception and anthropology as new focus areas and numerous new entries, it is an essential reference work for students, scholars, and teachers of classics and for anyone with an interest in the classical era.
Women's Ritual Competence in the Greco-Roman Mediterranean
Contributions in this volume demonstrate how, across the ancient Mediterranean and over hundreds of years, women’s rituals intersected with the political, economic, cultural, or religious spheres of their communities in a way that has only recently started to gain sustained academic attention. The volume aims to tease out a number of different approaches and contexts, and to expand existing studies of women in the ancient world as well as scholarship on religious and social history. The contributors face a famously difficult task: ancient authors rarely recorded aspects of women’s lives, including their songs, prophecies, and prayers. Many of the objects women made and used in ritual wer...
J.K. Rowling has drawn deeply from classical sources to inform and color her Harry Potter novels, with allusions ranging from the obvious to the obscure. "Fluffy," the vicious three-headed dog in Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone, is clearly a repackaging of Cerberus, the hellhound of Greek and Roman mythology. But the significance of Rowling's quotation from Aeschylus at the front of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows is a matter of speculation. Her use of classical material is often presented with irony and humor. This extensive analysis of the Harry Potter series examines Rowling's wide range of allusion to classical characters and themes and her varied use of classical languages. Chapters discuss Harry and Narcissus, Dumbledore's many classical predecessors, Lord Voldemort's likeness to mythical figures, and magic in Harry Potter and classical antiquity--among many topics.
Daughters of Hecate unites for the first time research on the problem of gender and magic in three ancient Mediterranean societies: early Judaism, Christianity, and Graeco-Roman culture. The book illuminates the gendering of ancient magic by approaching the topic from three distinct disciplinary perspectives: literary stereotyping, the social application of magic discourse, and material culture. The authors probe the foundations of, processes, and motivations behind gendered stereotypes, beginning with Western culture's earliest associations of women and magic in the Bible and Homer's Odyssey. Daughters of Hecate provides a nuanced exploration of the topic while avoiding reductive approaches. In fact, the essays in this volume uncover complexities and counter-discourses that challenge, rather than reaffirm, many gendered stereotypes taken for granted and reified by most modern scholarship. By combining critical theoretical methods with research into literary and material evidence, Daughters of Hecate interrogates a false association that has persisted from antiquity, to early modern witch hunts, to the present day.