Book chapters will be unavailable on Saturday 24th August between 8am-12pm BST. This is for essential maintenance which will provide improved performance going forwards. Please accept our apologies for any inconvenience caused.
To send content items to your account,
please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies.
If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account.
Find out more about sending content to .
To send content items to your Kindle, first ensure firstname.lastname@example.org
is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings
on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part
of your Kindle email address below.
Find out more about sending to your Kindle.
Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations.
‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi.
‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.
The Greek gods are still very much present in modern consciousness. Although Apollo and Dionysos, Artemis and Aphrodite, Zeus and Hermes are household names, it is much less clear what these divinities meant and stood for in ancient Greece. In fact, they have been very much neglected in modern scholarship. This book brings together a team of international scholars with the aim of remedying this situation and generating new approaches to the nature and development of the Greek gods in the period from Homer until Late Antiquity. The book looks at individual gods, but also asks to what extent cult, myth and literary genre determine the nature of a divinity. How do the Greek gods function in a polytheistic pantheon and what is their connection to the heroes? What is the influence of philosophy? What does archaeology tell us about the gods? In what way do the gods in Late Antiquity differ from those in classical Greece? This book presents a synchronic and diachronic view of the gods as they functioned in Greek culture until the triumph of Christianity.
The Greek gods are still very much present in modern consciousness, whereas the ancient rituals have been long forgotten. Yet even though Apollo and Dionysos, Artemis and Aphrodite, Zeus and Hermes are household names, they have hardly been at the centre of the modern study of Greek religion. From the most influential and innovative students of Greek religion of the last half of the twentieth century, Walter Burkert concentrated on myth and ritual, and Jean-Pierre Vernant made his name with studies of the psychological and sociological aspects of Greek culture. The gods were never the real focus of their attention. In fact, their lack of interest continued a situation that had already begun at the start of the twentieth century when classical scholars started to turn their attention to ritual rather than myth and the gods.
It is clear that a century of scholarly neglect of such an important area of Greek religion cannot be remedied by the appearance of a single book. That is why we have brought together a team of international scholars with a view to generating new approaches to, rather than providing a comprehensive survey of, the nature and development of the Greek gods in the period from Homer until late antiquity. Moreover, we have tried to go beyond the usual ways of handbooks which traditionally concentrate on the individual divinities.