Restless dead [electronic resource] : encounters between the living and the dead in ancient Greece / Sarah Iles Johnston.
- Other records:
- Berkeley : University of California Press, 1999.
1 online resource (355 p.)
- Ghosts -- Greece -- History.
Greece -- Religion.
- Electronic books.
- During the archaic and classical periods, Greek ideas about the dead evolved in response to changing social and cultural conditions-most notably changes associated with the development of the polis, such as funerary legislation, and changes due to increased contacts with cultures of the ancient Near East. In Restless Dead, Sarah Iles Johnston presents and interprets these changes, using them to build a complex picture of the way in which the society of the dead reflected that of the living, expressing and defusing its tensions, reiterating its values and eventually becoming a source of significant power for those who knew how to control it. She draws on both well-known sources, such as Athenian tragedies, and newer texts, such as the Derveni Papyrus and a recently published lex sacra from Selinous.Topics of focus include the origin of the goes (the ritual practitioner who made interaction with the dead his specialty), the threat to the living presented by the ghosts of those who died dishonorably or prematurely, the development of Hecate into a mistress of ghosts and its connection to female rites of transition, and the complex nature of the Erinyes. Restless Dead culminates with a new reading of Aeschylus' Oresteia that emphasizes how Athenian myth and cult manipulated ideas about the dead to serve political and social ends.
Frequently Used Terms
1. Elpenor and Others: Narrative Descriptions of the Dead
2. To Honor and Avert: Rituals Addressed to the Dead
3. Magical Solutions to Deadly Problems: The Origin and Roles of the Goes
4. The Unavenged: Dealing with Those Who Die Violently
5. Childless Mothers and Blighted Virgins: Female Ghosts and Their Victims
6. Hecate and the Dying Maiden: How the Mistress of Ghosts Earned Her Title
7. Purging the Polis: Erinyes, Eumenides, and Semnai Theai
- Description based upon print version of record.
Includes bibliographical references (p. 289-307) and index.
- Publisher Number:
- 10.1525/9780520922310 doi
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