Read Books Online

walter burkert books | Download ePub PDF

Greek Religion

Greek Religion Description:

In this book Walter Burkert the most eminent living historian of ancient Greek religion has produced the standard work for our time on that subject First published in German in it has now been translated into English with the assistance of the author himself A clearly structured and readable survey for students and scholars it will be welcomed as the best modern account of any polytheistic religious system br br Burkert draws on archaeological discoveries insights from other disciplines and inscriptions in Linear B to reconstruct the practices and beliefs of the Minoan Mycenaean age The major part of his book is devoted to the archaic and classical epochs He describes the various rituals of sacrifice and libation and explains Greek beliefs about purification He investigates the inspiration behind the great temples at Olympia Delphi Delos and the Acropolis discussing the priesthood sanctuary and oracles Considerable attention is given to the individual gods the position of the heroes and beliefs about the afterlife The different festivals are used to illuminate the place of religion in the society of the city state The mystery cults at Eleusis and among the followers of Bacchus and Orpheus are also set in that context The book concludes with an assessment of the great classical philosophers attitudes to religion br br Insofar as possible Burkert lets the evidence from literature and legend vase paintings and archaeology speak for itself he elucidates the controversies surrounding its interpretation without glossing over the enigmas that remain Throughout the notes updated for the English language edition afford a wealth of further references as the text builds up its coherent picture of what is known of the religion of ancient Greece

Rating: 3.43 out of 5

Ancient Mystery Cults

Ancient Mystery Cults Description:

The foremost historian of Greek religion provides the first comprehensive comparative study of a little known aspect of ancient religious beliefs and practices Secret mystery cults flourished within the larger culture of the public religion of Greece and Rome for roughly a thousand years This book is neither a history nor a survey but a comparative phenomenology Concentrating on five major cults In defining the mysteries and describing their rituals membership organization and dissemination Walter Burkert displays the remarkable erudition we have come to expect of him he also shows sensitivity and sympathy in interpreting the experiences and motivations of the devotees

Rating: 3.73 out of 5

Homo Necans: The Anthropology of Ancient Greek Sacrificial Ritual and Myth

Homo Necans: The Anthropology of Ancient Greek Sacrificial Ritual and Myth Description:

Blood sacrifice the ritual slaughter of animals has been basic to religion through history so that it survives in spiritualized form even in Christianity How did this violent phenomenon achieve the status of the sacred This question is examined in Walter Burkert s famous study

Rating: 3.28 out of 5

The Orientalizing Revolution: Near Eastern Influence on Greek Culture in the Early Archaic Age

The Orientalizing Revolution: Near Eastern Influence on Greek Culture in the Early Archaic Age Description:

The culture of the ancient Greeks has often been described as emerging like a miracle from a genius of its own owing practically nothing to its neighbours Walter Burkert offers a decisive argument against that view pointing toward a more balanced picture of the archaic period in which under the influence of the Semitic East from writers craftsmen merchants healers Greek culture began its unique flowering soon to assume cultural hegemony in the Mediterranean

Rating: 3.50 out of 5

Creation of the Sacred: Tracks of Biology in Early Religions

Creation of the Sacred: Tracks of Biology in Early Religions Description:

Sacrifice ranging from the sacrifice of virgins to circumcision to giving up what is most valued is essential to all religions Could there be a natural even biological reason for these practices Something that might explain why religions of so many different cultures share so many rituals and concepts In this extraordinary book one of the world s leading authorities on ancient religions explores the possibility of natural religion a religious sense and practice naturally proceeding from biological imperatives br br Because they lack later refinements the earliest religions from the Near East Israel Greece and Rome may tell us a great deal about the basic properties and dynamics of religion and it is to these cultures that Walter Burkert looks for answers His book takes us on an intellectual adventure that begins some years ago and plunges us into a fascinating world of divine signs and omens offerings and sacrifices rituals and beliefs unmitigated by modern science and sophistication Tracing parallels between animal behavior and human religious activity Burkert suggests natural foundations for sacrifices and rituals of escape for the concept of guilt and punishment for the practice of gift exchange and the notion of a cosmic hierarchy and for the development of a system of signs for negotiating with an uncertain environment Again and again he returns to the present to remind us that for all our worldliness we are not so far removed from the first i Homo religiosus i br br A breathtaking journey as entertaining as it is provocative i Creation of the Sacred i brings rich new insight on religious thought past and present and raises serious questions about the ultimate reasons for and the ultimate meaning of human religiousness

Rating: 3.62 out of 5

Violent Origins: Walter Burkert, René Girard, and Jonathan Z. Smith on Ritual Killing and Cultural Formation

Violent Origins: Walter Burkert, René Girard, and Jonathan Z. Smith on Ritual Killing and Cultural Formation Description:

No description available

Rating: 3.49 out of 5

Structure & History in Greek Mythology & Ritual (Sather Classical Lecture)

Structure & History in Greek Mythology & Ritual (Sather Classical Lecture) Description:

Tantalizingly rich this is a splendid book b Greece and Rome b br Burken relegates his learned documentation to the notes and writes in a lively and fluent style The book is recommended as a major contribution to the interpretation of ancient Greek myth and ritual The breadth alone of Burkert s learning renders his book indispensable b Classical Outlook b br Impressive founded on a striking knowledge of the complex evidence literary epigraphical archaeological comparative for this extensive subject Burkert offers a rare combination of exact scholarship with imagination and even humor A brilliant book in which the reader can see at every point what is going on in the author s mind and that is never uninteresting and rarely unimportant b Times Literary Supplement b br Burkert s work is of such magnitude and depth that it may even contribute to that most difficult of tasks defining myth ritual and religion He locates his work in the context of culture and the historv of ideas and he is not hesitant to draw on sociology and biology Consequently his work is of significance for philosophers historians and even theologians as well as for classicists and historians of Greek culture His hypotheses are courageous and his conclusions are bold both establish standards for methodology as well as results b Religious Studies Review b

Rating: 3.75 out of 5

Babylon, Memphis, Persepolis: Eastern Contexts of Greek Culture

Babylon, Memphis, Persepolis: Eastern Contexts of Greek Culture Description:

At the distant beginning of Western civilization according to European tradition Greece stands as an insular isolated near miracle of burgeoning culture This book traverses the ancient world s three great centers of cultural exchange Babylonian Nineveh Egyptian Memphis and Iranian Persepolis to situate classical Greece in its proper historical place at the Western margin of a more comprehensive Near Eastern Aegean cultural community that emerged in the Bronze Age and expanded westward in the first millennium B C br br In concise and inviting fashion Walter Burkert lays out the essential evidence for this ongoing reinterpretation of Greek culture In particular he points to the critical role of the development of writing in the ancient Near East from the achievement of cuneiform in the Bronze Age to the rise of the alphabet after B C From the invention and diffusion of alphabetic writing a series of cultural encounters between Oriental and Greek followed Burkert details how the Assyrian influences of Phoenician and Anatolian intermediaries the emerging fascination with Egypt and the Persian conquests in Ionia make themselves felt in the poetry of Homer and his gods in the mythic foundations of Greek cults and in the first steps toward philosophy A journey through the fluid borderlines of the Near East and Europe with new and shifting perspectives on the cultural exchanges these produced this book offers a clear view of the multicultural field upon which the Greek heritage that formed Western civilization first appeared

Rating: 3.67 out of 5

Savage Energies: Lessons of Myth and Ritual in Ancient Greece

Savage Energies: Lessons of Myth and Ritual in Ancient Greece Description:

We often think of classical Greek society as a model of rationality and order Yet as Walter Burkert demonstrates in these influential essays on the history of Greek religion there were archaic savage forces surging beneath the outwardly calm face of classical Greece whose potentially violent and destructive energies Burkert argues were harnessed to constructive ends through the interlinked uses of myth and ritual br br For example in a much cited essay on the Athenian religious festival of the Arrephoria Burkert uncovers deep connections between this strange nocturnal ritual in which two virgin girls carried sacred offerings into a cave and later returned with something given to them there and tribal puberty initiations by linking the festival with the myth of the daughters of Kekrops Other chapters explore the origins of tragedy in blood sacrifice the role of myth in the ritual of the new fire on Lemnos the ties between violence the Athenian courts and the annual purification of the divine image and how failed political propaganda entered the realm of myth at the time of the Persian Wars

Rating: 3.64 out of 5

Lore and Science in Ancient Pythagoreanism

Lore and Science in Ancient Pythagoreanism Description:

For the first English edition of his distinguished study i Weisheit und Wissenschaft Studien zu Pythagoras Philoloas und Platon i Mr Burkert has extensively revised both text and notes taking into account additional literature that has appeared since

Rating: 3.57 out of 5