1st Edition

Personal Experience and Materiality in Greek Religion

By K.A. Rask Copyright 2023
    226 Pages 49 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Employing frameworks of lived religion and materiality, this book provides the first full-length study of personal religious experience in the Greek Archaic and Classical periods.

    Rask analyzes archeological, epigraphic, and textual evidence to highlight the role of individuals as vital actors and makers of Greek religion. A range of perspectives, such as those of Archaic mariners and Late Classical weaving women, show that religion infused the daily lives of ancient Greeks. Chapters visit the many spaces where people engaged in religious activities, from household kitchens to international emporia, as well as shrines both large and small. The book also interrogates devotional activities such as making votives and engaging in lifelong relationships with divinities, arguing for the emotionally rich character of Greek lived religion. Not only do these considerations demonstrate underexplored ways for reconstructing aspects of Greek religion, but also allow us to rethink familiar subjects such as votive portraits and epiphany from new angles.

    Personal Experience and Materiality in Greek Religion is of interest to students and scholars working on ancient Greek religion and archeology, as well as anyone interested in daily life and lived experience in the ancient world.

    List of Figures List of Maps Acknowledgments Conventions & Abbreviations
    1 Introduction 2 From the Hands of Votaries: Self-made Offerings and Personal Devotion 3 “We Placed Our Offerings Side by Side with His”: Personal History, Childhood, and Religious Materiality 4 Experiencing Supernatural Presence: From Bodily Blessings to Ghostly Visitors 5 Media of Presence: Keeping Gods and Humans Close 6 Bringing It All Together: Religion and the Seafaring Life Epilogue: Going Forward
    Bibliography Index


    K.A. Rask is an assistant professor of Classics at The Ohio State University. She is a historian of religion whose research focuses on Greek religion and archeology and Etruscan religion. She engages in archeological fieldwork in both Greece and Italy.