Download PDF by Susan Deacy: Athena

By Susan Deacy

In this definitive overview of many of the representations and ways to Athena, Susan Deacy does what no different has performed sooner than and brings the entire features of this mythical determine into one, notable study.

A survey of 1 of the main enduringly well known of historical deities, the book introduces Athena’s fantasy, cult and reception, whereas directing the reader to unique dialogue as and whilst it's applicable.

Students will locate it a very good assist in their reports, and for the final reader with an curiosity within the historical international and for these from comparable disciplines equivalent to literature, paintings heritage and faith, itВ provides a mine of knowledge and perception into thisВ fascinating classical figure.

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Example text

This tendency is present even in the Lucian dialogue discussed at the start of this chapter where I opted for the translation ‘fierce’ to capture the contrast between the attractiveness, for Hephaistos, of the emerging goddess and the spectacle of her glaukos stare. The gods look on in amazement as Athena leaps forth, while heaven ‘quaked dreadfully’, earth ‘screamed horribly’, the sea ‘moved and frothed with dark waves’, and the sun (‘the brilliant son of Hyperion’) stopped his passage across the sky.

Scholarship on Athena has been infused with an understanding of her as the product of a primordial amalgamation of two originally separate and widely different beings. J. Herington, for example, whose study of local manifestations of the goddess (1955) interpreted her as an amalgam of an earth goddess (Polias) and the warrior virgin (Parthenos). CRITICISING THE MATRIARCHY MYTH Appealing though it is, however, the matriarchy theory’s potential for understanding Athena’s distinctive appearance and character has been subjected to cogent criticism.

To understand Athena, for example, scholars have regularly looked not at where her cult and persona may have originated but at her place in the complex religious system that is the pantheon (Chapter 3). However, an interest in origins has not gone away. The work by 34 KEY THEMES Walter Burkert, Martin West and others on the impact of Near Eastern influences upon Greek thought has led to a renewed interest in the early development of the gods. Martin Bernal’s Black Athena project, meanwhile, though encountering criticism from specialists in a range of areas, has re-opened the origins question to a new generation of critics.

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