196 pages | 9 B/W Illus.
Human beings have speculated about whether or not there is life after death, and if so, what form that life might take, for centuries. What did people in the ancient world think the next life would hold, and did they imagine there was a chance for a relationship between the living and the dead? How did people in the ancient world keep their dead loved ones alive through memory, and were they afraid the dead might return and haunt the living in another form? What sort of afterlife did the ancient Greeks and Romans imagine for themselves? This volume explores these questions and more.
While individual representations of the afterlife have often been examined, few studies have taken a more general view of ideas about the afterlife circulating in the ancient world. By drawing together current research from international scholars on archaeological evidence for afterlife belief, chiefly from funerary sites, together with studies of works of literature, this volume provides a broader overview of ancient ideas about the afterlife than has so far been available.
Imagining the Afterlife in the Ancient World explores these key questions through a series of wide-ranging studies, taking in ghosts, demons, dreams, cosmology, and the mutilation of corpses along the way, offering a valuable resource to those studying all aspects of death in the ancient world
"This collection of essays, predominantly by up-and-coming scholars, speaks to the desideratum in scholarship for a wide-ranging view of the Classical afterlife. Its editor Juliette Harrisson has drawn on the work of an international group of scholars to produce a diverse selection of essays, which between them cover aspects of the period from Archaic Greece to late antiquity. Beginning with an editorial discussion of the interface between writing, practice and ‘belief,’ the book’s four parts deal with material evidence from Greece; evidence from Etruria and provincial Rome; and literary and late antique approaches to afterlife belief and practice. This will be a useful collection for anyone wishing to grasp the parameters of the growing field of study of the Classical afterlife."
- Emma Gee, University of St Andrew's, UK
List of figures
List of contributors
Part 1: The Afterlife at Greek Funerary Sites
1. Visualizing the Afterlife in Classical Athens: Interactions between the Living and the Dead on White-Ground Lêkythoi
Molly Evangeline Allen
2. Phrasikleia: Playing with Signs
Part 2: The afterlife at Roman and Etruscan Funerary Sites
3. "Break on Through to the Other Side": The Etruscan Netherworld and its Demons
4. Guide of Souls? Mercurius Psychopompos in Roman Dalmatia
5. Funerary Dining Scenes in Roman Tombs: Ensuring Happiness in the Afterlife
Part 3: The Afterlife in Literature
6. Cosmology, Psychopomps, and Afterlife in Homer’s Odyssey
Safari F. Grey
7. Daphnis’ Tomb: Space for Immortality in Virgil’s 5th Eclogue
8. Reality and Unreality: Literature and Folklore in Propertius 4.7
Part 4: The Afterlife in Late Antique Tradition
9. A Ritual of the Afterlife or the Afterlife of a Ritual: Maschalismos in Ancient Greece and Beyond
Julia Doroszewska and Janek Kucharski
10. Servius on Virgil’s Underworld in Late Antiquity