1st Edition

Initiation in Ancient Greek Rituals and Narratives New Critical Perspectives

Edited By David Dodd, Christopher A. Faraone Copyright 2003
    314 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    316 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Scholars of classical history and literature have for more than a century accepted `initiation' as a tool for understanding a variety of obscure rituals and myths, ranging from the ancient Greek wedding and adolescent haircutting rituals to initiatory motifs or structures in Greek myth, comedy and tragedy.
    In this books an international group of experts including Gloria Ferrari, Fritz Graf and Bruce Lincoln, critique many of these past studies, and challenge strongly the tradition of privileging the concept of initiation as a tool for studying social performances and literary texts, in which changes in status or group membership occur in unusual ways. These new modes of research mark an important turning point in the modern study of the religion and myths of ancient Greece and Rome, making this a valuable collection across a number of classical subjects.

    List of figures and tables, List of contributors, Preface, Acknowledgements, List of abbreviations and transliterations, PART I: Introduction, 1. Initiation: a concept with a troubled history, PART II: Female initiations, 2. What kind of rite of passage was the Ancient Greek wedding?, 3. Playing the bear and the fawn for Artemis: female initiation or substitute sacrifice?, PART III: Vidal-Naquet's Black Hunter, 4. Adolescent initiation in myth and tragedy: rethinking the Black Hunter, 5. Liminality as metaphor: initiation and the frontiers of Ancient Athens, PART IV: Initiation and themale community, 6. Adolescent hair-growing and hair-cutting rituals in Ancient Greece: a sociological approach, 7. Striding across boundaries: Hermes and Aphrodite as gods of initiation, PART V: Initiation and narrative patterns, 8. Initiation in myth; initiation in practice: the Homeric Hymn to Hermes and its performative context, 9. Who in hell is Heracles? Dionysus' disastrous disguise in Aristophanes' Frogs, PART VI: The initiation of ritual experts, 10. Evenius becomes a seer (Herodotus 9.93-5): a paradoxical initiation?, 11. The initiation of the magician: transition and power in Graeco-Roman Ritual, PART VII: Afterwords, 12. The initiatory paradigm in anthropology, folklore and history of religions, 13. Initiations and initiatory experience, Bibliography, Subject index, Index locorum, Foreign word index


    David Dodd