Jan N. Bremmer

The World of Greek Religion and Mythology

Collected Essays II

[Die Welt der griechischen Religion und Mythology. Gesammelte Aufsätze II.]

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Published in English.
In this work, Jan N. Bremmer discusses key themes of Greek religion, such as gods and heroes, animal and human sacrifice, secrecy and the wild maenads. He also explains the meaning of Greek myth and its relationship to ritual, history and ancient propaganda as well as providing a survey of its study in ancient and modern times.
In this wide-ranging work on Greek religion and mythology, Jan N. Bremmer brings together his stimulating and innovative articles, which have all been updated and revised where necessary. In three thematic sections, he analyses central aspects of Greek religion, beginning with the gods and heroes and paying special attention to the unity of the divine nature and the emergence of the category 'hero'. The second section begins with a discussion of the nature of polis religion, continues with various facets, such as seers, secrecy and the soul, and concludes with the influence of the Ancient Near East. The third section studies human sacrifice and offers the most recent analysis of the ideal animal sacrifice, combining literature, epigraphy, iconography, and zooarchaeology. Regarding human sacrifice, it concentrates on the famous cases of Iphigeneia and the werewolves of Mount Lykaion. The fourth and final section investigates key elements of Greek mythology, such as the definition of myth and its relationship to ritual, and ends with a brief history of the study of Greek mythology. The multi-disciplinary approach and rich footnotes make this work a must for anybody interested in Greek religion and mythology.

Jan N. Bremmer Born 1944; 1979 PhD; 1978–90 Associate Professor for ancient history at the University of Utrecht; 1990–2009 Chair of Religious Studies at the Faculty of Theology and Religious Studies of the University of Groningen; 2019–20 Fellow at the Centre for Advanced Studies »Beyond Canon,« Regensburg.


The following reviews are known:

In: Scriptable — 72 (2020), pp. 53–60 (Robert Tenor)
In: Greece & Rome — 67 (2020), pp. 299–306 (Andrej Petrovic)
In: Przeglad Historyczny — 121 (2021), pp. 193–194 (Rafal Matuszewski)
In: Kleio-Historia — 14 (2021), pp. 102–105 (Mark Beumer)
In: Bryn Mawr Classical Review — (Manfred Lesgourgues)
In: Kernos — 34 (2021), pp. 314–315 (Vinciane Pirenne-Delforge)
In: Theologische Literaturzeitung — 146 (2021), pp. 271–272 (Christoph Auffarth)
In: Review of Biblical Literature — (12/2020) (Mary R. Lefkowitz)
In: New Testament Abstracts — 66 (2022), p. 311
In: Greece & Rome — 67 (2020), pp. 301–303 (Andrej Petrovic)
In: Antike Welt — (Jesper Tae Jensen)
In: Classical Review — 72 (2022), pp. 600–602 (Manolis Petrakis)