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Divinity and History : The Religion of Herodotus - Thomas Harrison

Divinity and History

The Religion of Herodotus

Paperback Published: 1st September 2002
ISBN: 9780199253555
Number Of Pages: 332

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Critics of Herodotus have generally shown an unease in the face of the religious passages of the Histories, a sense that he 'lets himself down' by delving into matters irrelevant to the proper purpose of history. They have tended consequently to latch on to isolated instances of scepticism in an attempt to vindicate Herodotus from imagined charges of obscurantism. Historians of Greek religion, on the other hand, by their concentration on ritual as the central feature of Greek religious experience, have often neglected the value of literary sources as evidence of religious belief; indeed the term belief has become something of a dirty word. In this book, the first full-length study of the subject in English, Dr Harrison not only places Herodotus' religious beliefs at the centre of his conception of history, but by seeing instances of scepticism and of belief in relation to one another redresses the recent emphasis on the centrality of ritual, and paints a picture of Greek religion as a means for the explanation of events.

Industry Reviews

`Review from previous edition is fun to read, lively and knowledgeable.' Edith Hall, TLS, 6 July 2001 `This is a definitive work on Herodotus and Herodotean religion - balanced, learned, and wise. It should be an exemplar for all future discussions of ancient attitudes toward the divine, and the first chapter should be required reading for all students of Herodotus. It is almost as pleasurable and rewarding to read as Herodotus himself.' C.M.C. Green, Choice, April 2001 `an outstanding book of erudition indispensable to all scholars interested in Herodotus. Undergraduate students will find it useful as a reference work' Anthony J.Papalas, History, Winter 2001 `What Harrison uncovers for us in the course of this study, while it may not be reducible to a tidy set of tenets, is a positive discovery and enables us to develop a richer understanding of religious phenomena in Herodotus' Histories.' The Anglo-Hellenic Review

1: Introduction: Divinity and History 2: Solon and Human Fortune 3: Miracles and the Miraculous 4: Divine Retribution 5: Oracles and Divination 6: The Unity and Multiplicity of the Divine 7: The Limits of Knowledge and Inquiry 8: Foreign Gods and Foreign Religion 9: Fate and Human Responsibility 10: Epilogue

ISBN: 9780199253555
ISBN-10: 0199253552
Series: Oxford Classical Monographs (Paperback)
Audience: Professional
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 332
Published: 1st September 2002
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.59 x 14.12  x 1.83
Weight (kg): 0.39

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