Epiphanies and Dreams in Greek Polytheism

Textual Genres and 'Reality' from Homer to Heliodorus
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While modern students of Greek religion are alert to the occasion-boundedness of epiphanies and divinatory dreams in Greek polytheism, they are curiously indifferent to the generic parameters of the relevant textual representations on which they build their argument. Instead, generic questions are normally left to the literary critic, who in turn is less interested in religion. To evaluate the relation of epiphanies and divinatory dreams to Greek polytheism, the book investigates relevant representations through all major textual genres in pagan antiquity. The evidence of the investigated genres suggests that the ‘epiphany-mindedness’ of the Greeks, postulated by most modern critics, is largely an academic chimaera, a late-comer of Christianizing 19th-century-scholarship. It is primarily founded on a misinterpretation of Homer’s notorious anthropomorphism (in the Iliad and Odyssey but also in the Homeric Hymns). This anthropomorphism, which is keenly absorbed by Greek drama and figural art, has very little to do with the religious lifeworld experience of the ancient Greeks, as it appears in other genres. By contrast, throughout all textual genres investigated here, divinatory dreams are represented as an ordinary and real part of the ancient Greeks' lifeworld experience.

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ReiheMythosEikonPoiesis
ISBN 9783110636369
Erscheinungsdatum 06.12.2021
Umfang 319 Seiten
Genre Geschichte/Altertum
Format Hardcover
Verlag De Gruyter
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