In our contemporary Western society, death has become taboo. Despite its inevitability, we focus on maintaining youthfulness and well-being, while fearing death’s intrusion in our daily activities. In contrast, the ancient Greeks embraced death more openly and effectively, developing a variety of rituals to help them grieve the dead and, in the process, alleviate anxiety and suffering. The book examines conceptions of death and the afterlife in the ancient Greek world, revealing few similarities—and many differences—between ancient and modern ways of approaching death. Exploring the cultural and religious foundations underlying Greek burial rites and customs, it traces the evolution of these practices during the archaic and classical periods. It also explains the relationship between the living and the dead as reflected in grave markers, epitaphs, and burial offerings and discusses the social and political dimensions of burial and lamentation. The book also describes shifting beliefs about life after death, showing how concepts of immortality, depicted so memorably in Homer’s epics, began to change during the classical period. Death in the Greek World straddles the boundary between literary and religious imagination and synthesizes observations from archaeology, visual art, philosophy, politics, and law. The book places particular emphasis on Homer’s epics, the first literary testimony of an understanding of death in ancient Greece.

Death in the Greek World: From Homer to the Classical Age

MIRTO, MARIA SERENA
2012-01-01

Abstract

In our contemporary Western society, death has become taboo. Despite its inevitability, we focus on maintaining youthfulness and well-being, while fearing death’s intrusion in our daily activities. In contrast, the ancient Greeks embraced death more openly and effectively, developing a variety of rituals to help them grieve the dead and, in the process, alleviate anxiety and suffering. The book examines conceptions of death and the afterlife in the ancient Greek world, revealing few similarities—and many differences—between ancient and modern ways of approaching death. Exploring the cultural and religious foundations underlying Greek burial rites and customs, it traces the evolution of these practices during the archaic and classical periods. It also explains the relationship between the living and the dead as reflected in grave markers, epitaphs, and burial offerings and discusses the social and political dimensions of burial and lamentation. The book also describes shifting beliefs about life after death, showing how concepts of immortality, depicted so memorably in Homer’s epics, began to change during the classical period. Death in the Greek World straddles the boundary between literary and religious imagination and synthesizes observations from archaeology, visual art, philosophy, politics, and law. The book places particular emphasis on Homer’s epics, the first literary testimony of an understanding of death in ancient Greece.
Mirto, MARIA SERENA
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11568/765039
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