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Miasma : Pollution and Purification in Early Greek Religion - Robert Parker

Miasma

Pollution and Purification in Early Greek Religion

Hardcover

Published: 22nd March 1990
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Anyone who has sampled even a few of the most commonly read Greek texts will have encountered pollution. The pollution of bloodshed is a frequent theme of tragedy: Orestes is driven mad; Oedipus brings plague upon all Thebes. In historical texts we find cities intervening in the internal affairs of others to `drive out the pollution', or making war on account of it. Political orators represent their opponents as polluting demons. Purity is a constant concern in ritual texts, and any Greek underwent many small purifications in his everyday life. Certain abnormal religious movements of the archaic age made `purification' the path to felicity in the afterlife. First published in hardback in 1983, Miasma is the first work in English to treat this theme in detail.

`This book is packed with information, most lucidly and judiciously presented, and should be of great interest not only to Classicists (who often know less of this important area than they should), but to anthropologists and sociologists in general (a knowledge of Greek is not required, since everything essential is translated)." Hermathena `anyone who seriously wishes to know about Greek ethics and culture will need to refer to this book' London Review of Books `[Parker's] substantial and important book has set new standards of perceptiveness and subtlety, quite apart from its sheer learning, in this difficult but rich and revealing field of study.' Times Literary Supplement

1996 Prefacep. v
Abbreviations and Editionsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
Purification: A Science Of Divisionp. 18
Birth and Deathp. 32
The Works Of Aphroditep. 74
The Shedding Of Bloodp. 104
Sacrilegep. 144
Curses, Family Curses, And The Structure Of Rightsp. 191
Disease, Bewitchment And Purifiersp. 207
Divine Vengeance And Diseasep. 235
Purifying The Cityp. 257
Purity And Salvationp. 281
Some Scenes From Tragedyp. 308
Epiloguep. 322
The Greek for Taboop. 328
The Cyrene Cathartic Lawp. 332
Problems Concerning 'Enter Pure from . . .' Requirements in Sacred Lawsp. 352
Animals and Foodp. 357
The Ritual Status of the Justified Killer at Athensp. 366
The Ritual of Purification from Homicidep. 370
Exile and Purification of the Killer in Greek Mythp. 375
Gods Particularly Concerned with Purityp. 393
Indexesp. 395
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198147428
ISBN-10: 0198147422
Series: Clarendon Paperbacks
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 432
Published: 22nd March 1990
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 21.49 x 13.87  x 2.59
Weight (kg): 0.58