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Literature and Religion at Rome: Cultures, Contexts, and Beliefs

Overview

Rather than asking how religion is transmuted into literature, we should, Denis Feeney argues, be thinking in terms of a range of cultural practices, interacting, competing, and defining each other in the process. Capitalising on recent revaluations of Roman religion by ancient historians, which have stressed the vitality and creativity of the Romans' religious system throughout its long history of continual adaptation to new challenges, this book argues that Roman literature was not an artificial or parasitic ...
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Overview

Rather than asking how religion is transmuted into literature, we should, Denis Feeney argues, be thinking in terms of a range of cultural practices, interacting, competing, and defining each other in the process. Capitalising on recent revaluations of Roman religion by ancient historians, which have stressed the vitality and creativity of the Romans' religious system throughout its long history of continual adaptation to new challenges, this book argues that Roman literature was not an artificial or parasitic irrelevance in this context, but an important element of the dynamic religious culture, with its own status as another form of religious knowledge. Since Roman culture, both literary and religious, was so thoroughly Hellenised, the author also makes a case for a reconsideration of the traditional antitheses between Greek and Roman literature and religion, arguing against Hellenocentric prejudices and in favour of a more creative model of cultural interaction.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780511612091
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/2014

Table of Contents

Preface
Introduction 1
1 Belief 12
2 Myth 47
3 Divinity 76
4 Ritual 115
5 Epilogue: knowledge 137
Bibliography 144
General index 157
Index of passages discussed 160
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