Imagining the Afterlife in the Ancient World: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Imagining the Afterlife in the Ancient World

1st Edition

Edited by Juliette Harrisson

Routledge

196 pages | 9 B/W Illus.

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Hardback: 9781138299795
pub: 2018-09-04
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Description

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

Reviews

"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

Table of Contents

List of figures

List of contributors

Acknowledgements

Introduction

Juliette Harrisson

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

Nick Brown

Part 2: The afterlife at Roman and Etruscan Funerary Sites

3. "Break on Through to the Other Side": The Etruscan Netherworld and its Demons

Isabella Bossolino

4. Guide of Souls? Mercurius Psychopompos in Roman Dalmatia

Josipa Lulić

5. Funerary Dining Scenes in Roman Tombs: Ensuring Happiness in the Afterlife

Gabriela Ingle

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

Stephanie Crooks

8. Reality and Unreality: Literature and Folklore in Propertius 4.7

Juliette Harrisson

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

Frances Foster

Index

About the Editor

Juliette Harrisson is a Senior Lecturer in Ancient History at Newman University in Birmingham, UK. Her primary research interests lie in Roman period myth and religion, and in the reception of ancient Greece and Rome in modern popular culture, especially film, television and novels. Her monograph, Dreams and Dreaming in the Roman Empire: Cultural Memory and Imagination was published in 2013, and she is also the co-editor of Memory and Urban Religion in the Ancient World (with Martin Bommas and Phoebe Roy).

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
HIS000000
HISTORY / General