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Light of the Gods : The Role of Light in Archaic and Classical Greek Culture - Eva Parisinou

Light of the Gods

The Role of Light in Archaic and Classical Greek Culture

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This is a synthetic study of the use and significance of light in ancient Greek cult of the Archaic and Classical periods (from the seventh to the fourth century BCE). It is based on all the available evidence, ranging from literary texts and inscriptions to representations of light in vase-painting and sculpture, and surviving physical remains from excavations of Greek sanctuaries. Light is treated both as an abstract component of brightness which forms part of the nature of the gods and as an artifact which assumes concrete forms in divine hands. As a possession of mortals, light is found to have been regularly involved in contact with the gods. A variety of rituals are discussed in connection with the types and amount of light that they required, and reconstructions are suggested of the different roles that light played in them. This book shows that the involvement of light in Greek cult was a complex phonomenon which penetrated a great variety of ritual practices and religious beliefs surrounding the worship of gods in Archaic and Classical Greece.

Acknowledgements ix
Illustration Sourcesp. xii
Conventions and Abbreviationsp. xvi
Introduction: Aspects of 'Divine' and 'Earthly' Lightp. 1
Light in Early Greek Religious Thought and Practicep. 5
Keeping a Flame 'Alive'p. 20
Light in Rites of Passagep. 45
Pollution-Repelling Firep. 73
Light-Bearing Divine Imagesp. 81
Fire and Light in Divine Hunting and Divine Retributionp. 101
The Fire and Light in the Sensesp. 114
Cultivation and Prosperity of Land: Fire as a Creative Powerp. 124
Use of Light in the Worship of the Godsp. 136
Conclusionp. 162
Notesp. 169
Catalogues of Vases and Scriptures: 19p. 203
Bibliographyp. 223
Vase Shapesp. 243
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780715629345
ISBN-10: 0715629344
Audience: BAC
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 256
Published: 22nd December 2000
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.0 x 16.0  x 2.54
Weight (kg): 0.6
Edition Number: 1