This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Book Review Of Ancient Greek Religion By Jon D. Mikalson

1207 words - 5 pages

Approaching the subject of ancient Greek religion one encounters a paradox – simultaneously we know too little and too much. The Greeks have neither a word for religion in their vocabulary, nor possessed sacred books or religious texts, they neither formed clergy, nor appointed a person to exercise absolute religious authority. However, in Greek society the ubiquity and presence of their gods consumed the commoners, influenced the politicians, and inspired the artists. No aspect of Greek life can be approached without considering their religion. From the Bronze Age to late antiquity, the surviving materials provide scholars different aspects of the religion: allusions in literature, direct and indirect inscriptions from a myriad of places, and an abundance of physical remains. Yet the evidence does not coherently piece together a vivid, encompassing picture of the religious realities of any particular time and place in Greece.
In Ancient Greek Religion, Jon D. Mikalson aims to synthesis the elemental beliefs, the common practices, and the major deities worshiped by the Greeks. The book places an emphasis on religious life as experienced by Greek men and women. Mikalson provides a well-defined framework and focuses on key topics in nine thematic chapters: the epistemological basis and worship of Greek religion and sanctuaries; the nature of gods, heroes, and polytheism; cult myths; five major Greek cults; religion in the family and village; religion in the city-state; religion for the individual; the Hellenistic period; and the relation of Greek culture and religion. Alongside the text are ancient sources and a plethora of illustrations to help readers visualize religious life.
In the preface, Mikalson defines how he focused his topic. Firstly, he intends to provide an introduction to Greek religion for beginners; the book does not pretend to be an exhaustive study. Mikalson has an outstanding ability to engage the reader into his thoughts and arouse their interest. Often times throughout the book, the author encourages the reader to imagine what it must have been like to visit the religious sites or to be involved in the festivals. Primarily intended as an introduction for students and interested laymen, the style alone proves a big advantage. Series of maps, sketches, and photographs accompany the text which help personalize the topic and help the reader to imagine the realities of the region. The maps, drawings of sites, the photographs of location give important geographical context of the practices being described. Photographs of artifacts and extracts from other Greek authors provide the reader contemporary insights. In addition, an extensive 'further reading' section provided at the end of each chapter enhances the text and should satisfy the most critical reader. Mikalson also offers a proximate equivalent of Greek monetary sums in dollars. Though some scholars are extremely hesitant to convert monetary rates, it provides a much needed...

Find Another Essay On Book Review of Ancient Greek Religion by Jon D. Mikalson

Book Report: Jon Mancip White's "Everyday Life in Ancient Egypt" a four paged double spaced book report which recieved an A++ in my Western Civ Honors class

1194 words - 5 pages Book Report: Jon White's "Everyday Life in Ancient Egypt" World Book's encyclopedia refers to Ancient Egypt as the birthplace of one of the world's first civilizations. Jon White very well illustrates Ancient Egyptian life and while doing so is sure to include much detail and point of view. He covers many of the core features of Egyptian life, and explains each one's significance. Jon White's "Everyday Life in Ancient Egypt" goes into

"Becoming America" by Jon Butler: Review

1080 words - 4 pages destruction of Indian cultures. European settlement throughout the colonies ultimately had the effect of enslaving or oppressing Africans and attacking or infecting Indians. He concludes the chapter by pointing out, persuasively, that in these provinces of plenty, the patterns of wealth and poverty demonstrated how the experience of wealth and impoverishment descended not from the land, but from human innovation, I wanted to know the reasons the

Title of Book: Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer Was Chris McCandless crazy?

1405 words - 6 pages Jon Krakauer, the author, has used quite a few rhetorical themes while writing his book. I have chosen the interviews he has conducted with people who knew Chris McCandless as my theme. I feel that these interviews carry a lot of importance as they give us a good insight of Chris, the kind of person he was and the protective and isolated life he was living.While reading the book we come across a lot of point of views of different people. People

Book Review of "Night" by Elie Wiesel

522 words - 2 pages The Holocaust is a haunting time in the history of the world. The book "Night" by Elie Wiesel captures Wiesel's haunting experience during the Holocaust. A book like this is one that is not read for enjoyment, but rather for information. If one wants to be able to at least imagine what the people in the concentration camps went through, then this is the book to read. Night does not sugar-coat what happened in those camps. Wiesel tells the world

Book Review of "THe Hobbit" by Tolken

709 words - 3 pages parts of the book you might feel that you are reading long descriptions but they are still entertaining and enjoyable. The thought of bowdlerizing some of the descriptions and emending the story a little bit might brush by you head. It was very compelling when the author showed you a scary thing right after the character either woke up or regained his conscious; this kept surprising the reader with different twists in the story. One

Primitive Religion, a description of ancient religion

1210 words - 5 pages relationships passed down from one generation to the next. They are often exaggerated and elaborated but usually end up setting a precedent for the entire tribe or community.All primitive religions (and modern ones) have a myth about creation or the beginning of the world. Of particular interest is the cosmic egg theory used by ancient Greek, Roman, and Eastern religions. It suggests, "the egg is a symbol of the material source of all things, of the

Ancient Greek: The Birthplace of Western Civilization

838 words - 4 pages Ancient geek was the birthplace of western civilization about 4000 years ago. Ancient Greece produced many magnificent achievements in areas of government, science, philosophy and the fine arts that still influenced our lives. Old Greece influenced western progress in governmental issues. Greece had the first known popular government. In Greece Athens was the support of majority rules system in the western human advancement. The Greek had a

The True Art of Ancient Greek Drama

2839 words - 11 pages indicates a link with the practices of the ancient Dionysian cults. It is impossible, however, to know with certainty how these fertility rituals became the basis for tragedy and comedy.[2]Origins[edit]Main article: Greek tragedyMartin Litchfield West speculates that early studies in Greek religion and theatre, which are inter-related, especially the Orphic Mysteries, was heavily influenced by Central Asian shamanistic practices. A large number

A Brief History of Ancient Greek Architecture

1738 words - 7 pages which a building was built Greek architecture originated in Crete formed by the Dorians hence the Doric columns. In Greece the Dorians developed their forms of construction at such rapid paces that between the 10th and the 6th cent. B.C. a defined system of construction was established or what we call architecture. However, prior to the evolution of the grand marble temples of the 5th century B.C., there were unquestionably developing stages

preservation of the ancient book

1606 words - 7 pages INTRODUCTION China is a country that has many books which include ancient book and rare book. Chinese ancient book has been defined by China Ministry of Culture (2006) that is handwritten book or printed book produced before 1912, using classical binding and using the layout forms. The examples are silk manuscripts, woodblock print books, movable wooden-type and any other forms. While, rare book can be understand as the ancient book that have

Book review/report of Daughters of Eve by Lois Duncan

826 words - 3 pages Book ReportThis is a book review/report for the book titled, Daughters of Eve authored by Lois Duncan, an acclaimed suspense and fiction author for young teenagers. This book was originally published in 1990 but was later edited and published in 2011 by Little, Brown Books.The content of the book does relate to the book title, Daughters of Eve, at least according to the theme of the book. The book concerns a teacher-who is advising a group/club

Similar Essays

Ancient Greek Religion Essay

1303 words - 5 pages Arisleida GuzmanProfessor Michael CiscoEnglish 111/515A11/5/2014Ancient Greek ReligionDo you want to be treated as a God and have people love you and treat you decently, respect you, follow you, and believe in you? Well let's take a trip to Ancient Greece and explore their beliefs. The book of Homer Odyssey talk about many gods that ancient Greeks believed many years ago before Jesus Christ. Their religion was different from any other religion

Archetypes Of Shinto And Ancient Greek Religion

815 words - 3 pages created by the impurities of the chaotic egg. Earth is also considered as a kind of “hell” since there are no underworlds in the Shinto religion. Earth is where souls of people who could not proceed to heaven stay. Greek myths, on the other hand, consider earth to be a goddess. Greeks did not consider earth as an entity, but instead considered it equivalent to other primordial gods. Although thousands of kilometers apart, both Japanese and

Book Review Of Ancient Israel: What Do We Know And How Do We Know It By Lester L. Grabbe

1224 words - 5 pages In Lester L. Grabbe’s book Ancient Israel: What Do We Know and How Do We Know It, his aim was to not just tell a history of ancient Israel, but to survey sources and investigate data in order to understand the interpretations that the available sources give and to reconstruct an acceptable history for Israel. He referred to this as the “prolegomena” of the actual history of Israel- the question of how historians can verify that the history of

Ancient Ireland Through Different Eyes: Review The Book "How The Irish Saved Civilization" By Thomas Cahill And The Film "In Search Of Ancient Ireland" And Compare And Contrast The Two

1519 words - 6 pages The film "In Search of Ancient Ireland" and the book by Thomas Cahill titled "How the Irish Saved Civilization" are two fascinating sources of information on early Irish history. They each discuss the role of religion in ancient Ireland, as well as the invasions of the Vikings. Although each examine the same issues, both sources present slightly different views, one being somewhat more biased, and the other a more objective portrayal, on