Most of the commonly read Greek texts address "pollution". The pollution theme appears in tragedies, historical texts, and political oratory. Purity is a constant concern in ritual texts, and Greeks underwent many small purifications in their everyday lives. Certain archaic religious movements even made "purification" the path to felicity in the afterlife. First published in 1983, Miasma is the first work in English to treat this theme in detail.
"The most important book on Greek religion to appear in many years....Not only is this book an extraordinarily penetrating study of religious thought and practice, it also presents a most cogent and balanced analysis of Greek social values."--The Classical Outlook
"This excellent study is not for literary students alone: any Hellenist, whatever his chosen field, is likely to find illumination in it."--The Classical World
"A lucid, judicious, and well-documented assessment of the relevant literary and inscriptional evidence, which is characterized by enormous diversity in time, geographical reference, and genre....A significant and permanent contribution, this book warrants and should enjoy a wide
readership."--Journal of the History of Medicine