This book provides the first systematic study of the role of animals in different areas of the ancient Greek religious experience, including in myth and ritual, the literary and the material evidence, the real and the imaginary.
An international team of renowned contributors shows that animals had a sustained presence not only in the traditionally well-researched cultural practice of blood sacrifice but across the full spectrum of ancient Greek religious beliefs and practices. Animals played a role in divination, epiphany, ritual healing, the setting up of dedications, the writing of binding spells, and the instigation of other ‘magical’ means. Taken together, the individual contributions to this book illustrate that ancient Greek religion constituted a triangular symbolic system encompassing not just gods and humans, but also animals as a third player and point of reference.
Animals in Ancient Greek Religion will be of interest to students and scholars of Greek religion, Greek myth, and ancient religion more broadly, as well as for anyone interested in human/animal relations in the ancient world.
Julia Kindt is Professor of Ancient Greek History in the Department of Classics and Ancient History at the University of Sydney, Australia, and a current Australian Research Council Future Fellow (2018–22). Her publications include Rethinking Greek Religion (2012) and Re-visiting Delphi: Religion and Storytelling in Ancient Greece (2016), as well as several co-edited volumes including The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Religion (2015).
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