Underworld Gods in Ancient Greek Religion : Death and Reciprocity book cover
1st Edition

Underworld Gods in Ancient Greek Religion
Death and Reciprocity

ISBN 9781138574588
Published March 9, 2020 by Routledge
198 Pages

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Book Description

This volume presents a case for how and why people in archaic and classical Greece worshipped Underworld gods.

These gods are often portrayed as malevolent and transgressive, giving an impression that ancient worshippers derived little or no benefit from developing ongoing relationships with them. In this book, the first book-length study that focuses on Underworld gods as an integral part of the religious landscape of the period, Mackin Roberts challenges this view and shows that Underworld gods are, in many cases, approached and ‘befriended’ in the same way as any other kind of god.

Underworld Gods in Ancient Greek Religion provides a fascinating insight into the worship of these deities, and will be of interest to anyone working on ancient Greek religion and cult.

Table of Contents



A note about periodisation

List of figures

1: The Religious Landscape of Archaic and Classical Greece

2: Landscapes of the Underworld

3: Hades As God and Place

4: Death and Plenty: Agriculture and the Underworld in Mythology

5: Rites-of-Passage and Metaphorical Death

6: Personal Interactions with Underworld Gods

7: The Dead – Belief and RealityAfterword: Hekate, The Missing Figure

Appendix 1: Underworld Gods on Curse Tablets

Appendix 2: Underworld-Related Cults of Demeter



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Ellie Mackin Roberts is a Research Associate at the Institute of Classical Studies (School of Advanced Studies, University of London). Her PhD was awarded from King’s College London, and she has also previously taught at the University of Leicester and Royal Holloway, University of London.