Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 10. nóv. 2015 - 304 síđur
How new is atheism? Although adherents and opponents alike today present it as an invention of the European Enlightenment, when the forces of science and secularism broadly challenged those of faith, disbelief in the gods, in fact, originated in a far more remote past. In Battling the Gods, Tim Whitmarsh journeys into the ancient Mediterranean, a world almost unimaginably different from our own, to recover the stories and voices of those who first refused the divinities.
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It was at this time, too, that the mythological epics were being forged, the Iliad and the Odyssey. These project an image of Greek cultural solidarity, through the story of a shared expedition to go and rescue a Greek woman (Helen) ...
What they did have were Homer}s Iliad and Odyssey, and Hesiod}s Theogony. These were their earliest poems, composed at some point in the eighth or seventh centuries BC at the dawn of Greek literacy, and the bedrock of their culture.
In the Iliad, gods fight on either side of the conflict between Trojans and Greeks; Zeus, however, stands aloof and sees to it that the outcome happens in accordance with Fate. The Odyssey features a much reduced pantheon: Athena and ...
There is very little evidence for this in the rest of the Iliad. In general, the Iliadic gods, mathematically split as they are in their support for the Greeks and the Trojans, seem strikingly uninterested in human morality.
The Iliad and the Odyssey are about what it is to be a human, not a god. The Iliad focuses on Achilles, whose raging anger against his leader Agamemnon drives him to withdraw from the battle against the Trojans and pray for his own ...
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LibraryThing ReviewUmsögn notanda - booktsunami - LibraryThing
What I found especially fascinating about this book was the fundamental point that he makes about peoples attitudes towards religion. The idea of a single unified faith community is a mirage ..both in ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUmsögn notanda - grandpahobo - LibraryThing
This is a very good history of ancient Greek society and the role of mythology. It also extends in the peak of the Roman empire. Unfortunately, there is little about the existence or role of atheism ... Read full review
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