The Greek gods are still very much present in modern consciousness. Yet even though Apollo and Dionysos, Artemis and Aphrodite, Zeus and Hermes are household names, it is much less clear what these divinities meant and stood for in ancient Greece. In fact, they have been very much neglected in modern scholarship.
This book brings together a team of international scholars with the aim of remedying this situation and generating new approaches to the nature and development of the Greek gods in the period from Homer until Late Antiquity. It looks at individual gods, but also asks to what extent cult, myth and literary genre determine the nature of a divinity. How do the Greek gods function in a polytheistic pantheon and what is their connection to the heroes? What is the influence of philosophy? What does archaeology tell us about the gods? In what way do the gods in Late Antiquity differ from those in classical Greece?
The aim of the book is to present a comprehensive view of the gods as they functioned in Greek culture until the triumph of Christianity. It will have a broad appeal within Classics and Religious Studies.
About the Author
Jan Bremmer is Emeritus Professor of Religious Studies at the University of Groningen.
Andrew Erskine is Professor of Ancient History at the University of Edinburgh.
Table of Contents
List of Illustrations x
Notes on Contributors xiv
List of Abbreviations xix
Introduction: The Greek Gods in the Twentieth Century Jan N. Bremmer 1
1 What is a Greek God? Albert Henrichs 19
Part I Systematic Aspects
2 Canonizing the Pantheon: the Dodekatheon in Greek Religion and its Origins Ian Rutherford 43
3 Gods in Greek Inscriptions: Some Methodological Questions Fritz Graf 55
4 Metamorphoses of Gods into Animals and Humans Richard Buxton 81
5 Sacrificing to the Gods: Ancient Evidence and Modern Interpretations Stella Georgoudi 92
6 Getting in Contact: Concepts of Human-Divine Encounter in Classical Greek Art Anja Klöckner 106
7 New Statues for Old Gods Kenneth Lapatin 126
Part II Individual Divinities and Heroes
8 Zeus at Olympia Judith M. Barringer 155
9 Zeus in Aeschylus: the Factor of Monetization Richard Seaford 178
10 Hephaistos Sweats or How to Construct an Ambivalent God Jan N. Bremmer 193
11 Transforming Artemis: from the Goddess of the Outdoors to City Goddess Ivana Petrovic 209
12 Herakles between Gods and Heroes Emma Stafford 228
13 Identities of Gods and Heroes: Athenian Garden Sanctuaries and Gendered Rites of Passage Claude Calame 245
Part III Diachronic Aspects
14 Early Greek Theology: God as Nature and Natural Gods Simon Trépanier 273
15 Gods in Early Greek Historiography Robert L. Fowler 318
16 Gods in Apulia T. H. Carpenter 335
17 Lucian's Gods: Lucian's Understanding of the Divine Matthew W. Dickie 348
18 The Gods in the Greek Novel Ken Dowden 362
19 Reading Pausanias: Cults of the Gods and Representation of the Divine Vinciane Pirenne-Delforge 375
20 Kronos and the Titans as Powerful Ancestors: A Case Study of the Greek Gods in Later Magical Spells Christopher A. Faraone 388
21 Homo fictor deorum est: Envisioning the Divine in Late Antique Divinatory Spells Sarah Iles Johnston 406
22 The Gods in Later Orphism Alberto Bernabé 422
23 Christian Apologists and Greek Gods Lautaro Roig Lanzillotta 442
24 The Materiality of God's Image: Olympian Zeus and Ancient Christology Christoph Auffarth 465
Part IV Historiography
25 The Greek Gods in Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century German and British Scholarship Michael Konaris 483
Epilogue Andrew Erskine 505