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The story of Troy speaks to all of us - the kidnapping of Helen, a queen celebrated for her beauty, sees the Greeks launch a thousand ships against the city of Troy, to which they will lay siege for ten whole years. It is a terrible war with casualties on all sides as well as strained relations between allies, whose consequences become tragedies.
In Troy you will find heroism and hatred, love and loss, revenge and regret, desire and despair. It is these human passions, written bloodily in the sands of a distant shore, that still speak to us today.
God is unbounded. God became flesh. While these two assertions are equally viable parts of Western Christian religious heritage, they stand in tension with one another. Fearful of reducing God's majesty with shallow anthropomorphisms, philosophy and religion affirm that God, as an eternal being, stands wholly apart from creation. Yet the legacy of the incarnation complicates this view of the incorporeal divine, affirming a very different image of God in physical embodiment. While for many today the idea of an embodied God seems simplisticaeven pedestrianaChristoph Markschies reveals that in antiquity, the educated and uneducated alike subscribed to this very idea. More surprisingly, the idea that God had a body was held by both polytheists and monotheists. Platonic misgivings about divine corporeality entered the church early on, but it was only with the advent of medieval scholasticism that the idea that God has a body became scandalous, an idea still lingering today. In God's Body Markschies traces the shape of the divine form in late antiquity. This exploration follows the development of ideas of God's corporeality in Jewish and Greco-Roman traditions. In antiquity, gods were often like humans, which proved to be important for philosophical reflection and for worship. Markschies considers how a cultic environment nurtured, and transformed, Jewish and Christian descriptions of the divine, as well as how philosophical debates over the connection of body and soul in humanity provided a conceptual framework for imagining God. Markschies probes the connections between this lively culture of religious practice and philosophical speculation and the christological formulations of the church to discover how the dichotomy of an incarnate God and a fleshless God came to be. By studying the religious and cultural past, Markschies reveals a Jewish and Christian heritage alien to modern sensibilities, as well as a God who is less alien to the human experience than much of Western thought has imagined. Since the almighty God who made all creation has also lived in that creation, the biblical idea of humankind as image of God should be taken seriously and not restricted to the conceptual world but rather applied to the whole person.
Why did the Vikings sail to England? Were they indiscriminate raiders, motivated solely by bloodlust and plunder? One narrative, the stereotypical one, might have it so. But locked away in the buried history of the British Isles are other, far richer and more nuanced, stories; and these hidden tales paint a picture very different from the ferocious pillagers of popular repute. In this book, Eleanor Parker unlocks secrets that point to more complex motivations within the marauding army that in the late-9th century voyaged to the shores of eastern England in its sleek, dragon-prowed longships. Exploring legends from forgotten medieval texts, and across the varied Anglo-Saxon regions, she depicts Vikings who came not just to raid but also to settle personal feuds, intervene in English politics and find a place to call home. Native tales reveal the links to famous Vikings like Ragnar Lothbrok and his sons, Cnut, and Havelok the Dane. Each myth shows how the legacy of the newcomers can still be traced in landscape, place-names and local history. Meticulously researched and elegantly argued, Dragon Lords uncovers the remarkable degree to which England is Viking to its core.
The Mexica (Aztecs) used a solar calendar made up of eighteen months, with each month dedicated to a specific god in their pantheon and celebrated with a different set of rituals. Panquetzaliztli, the fifteenth month, dedicated to the national god Huitzilopochtli (Hummingbird on the Left), was significant for its proximity to the winter solstice, and for the fact that it marked the beginning of the season of warfare. In The Fifteenth Month, John F. Schwaller offers a detailed look at how the celebrations of Panquetzaliztli changed over time and what these changes reveal about the history of the Aztecs. Drawing on a variety of sources, Schwaller deduces that prior to the rise of the Mexica in 1427, an earlier version of the month was dedicated to the god Tezcatlipoca (Smoking Mirror), a war and trickster god. The Mexica shifted the dedication to their god, developed a series of ceremonies - including long-distance running and human sacrifice - that would associate him with the sun, and changed the emphasis of the celebration from warfare alone to a combination of trade and warfare, since merchants played a significant role in Mexica statecraft. Further investigation shows how the resulting festival commemorated several important moments in Mexica history, how it came to include ceremonies associated with the winter solstice, and how it reflected a calendar reform implemented shortly before the arrival of the Spanish. Focused on one of the most important months in the Mexica year, Schwaller's work marks a new methodology in which traditional sources for Mexica culture, rather than being interrogated for their specific content, are read for their insights into the historical development of the people. Just as Christmas re-creates the historic act of the birth of Jesus for Christians, so, The Fifteenth Month suggests, Panquetzaliztli was a symbolic re-creation of events from Mexica myths and history.
From the translator of the bestselling Poetic Edda (Hackett, 2015) comes a gripping new rendering of two of the greatest sagas of Old Norse literature. Together the two sagas recount the story of seven generations of a single legendary heroic family and comprise our best source of traditional lore about its members-including, among others, the dragon-slayer Sigurd, Brynhild the Valkyrie, and the Viking chieftain Ragnar Lothbrok.
This unique introduction to Native American sacred teachings offers a powerful resource for problem-solving on all fronts, whether at home, at work or in relationships. With Eliana Harvey and Wa-Na-Nee-Che as your guides, you will discover how to communicate with the animals and other sacred archetypes, as they become your teachers and reveal their medicine ways to steer you in your everyday life. Use the Animal, Grandfather/Grandmother and Totem cards for healing and to develop your intuitive abilities, as you progress through three levels of learning.Their age-old wisdom will help you to live in harmony with yourself, and with all living things around you.
It should have been a beautiful moment between a man and his dog. Philip Womack made a quip about Cerberus, the three-headed hell-hound, but for Una, the beloved lurcher, it was all Greek. Then she ran off after a squirrel. And Womack was left to wonder what else she didn't know about the great civilisations of the past. The Greeks and the Romans laid the foundations of so much of what we read, listen to and watch today, from the baked pies of Game of Thrones to the Lotus-eaters of Love Island. In this unique introduction, Womack leads Una and us on a fleet-footed odyssey through the classical world. You'll learn to tell your Odysseus from your Oedipus, your Polyxena from your Polydorus...but the story of the hunting dogs that tore their own master apart may be best left for another day.
Thomas O'Loughlin focuses on such issues as the immanence and transcendence of God, the notion of creation, the relation between the individual and community, the heroic ideal of Christian life, and notions of death and resurrection.
A controversial examination of the influence and presence of the Norse god Odin in contemporary history and culture Exploring the influence of the Norse god Odin in the modern world, Richard Rudgley reveals Odin's central role in the pagan revival and how this has fueled a wide range of cultural movements and phenomena. Rudgley argues that it is Odin and not Jesus Christ who has the single most important spiritual influence in modern Western civilization. He analyzes the Odin archetype--first revealed by Carl Jung's essay on Wotan--in the context of pagan religious history and explains the ancient idea of the Web--a cosmic field of energies that encompasses time, space, and the hidden potentials of humanity-the pagan equivalent to the Tao of Eastern tradition. The author examines the importance of the concept of wyrd, which corresponds to "fate" or "destiny". He examines how the concept of subterranean and mythic realms, such as the Hollow Earth, Thule, and Agartha, and mysterious energies like Vril were manifested in both occult and profane ways and investigates key occult figures like Madame Blavatsky, Guido von List, and Karl Wiligut. Rudgley provides pagan analyses of Tolkien and the Lord of the Rings and documents the impact the Odin archetype has had on nationalist and fascist groups in America and Europe. Examining pagan groups in Europe and America that use the Norse template, Rudgley reveals true paganism as holistic and intimately connected with the forces at work in the life of the planet. Showing how this "green" paganism can be beneficial for dealing with the adverse consequences of globalization and the ongoing ecological crisis, he explains how, when repressed, the Odin archetype is responsible for regressive tendencies--a reflection of the unprecedented chaos of Ragnarok--but if embraced, the Odin archetype makes it possible for like-minded traditions to work together in the service of life.
Exploring the practice of living resurrection in ancient Egyptian, Phoenician, Greek, Persian, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Celtic, and Native American traditions, Freddy Silva explains how resurrection was never meant for the dead, but for the living--a fact supported by the suppressed Gnostic Gospel of Philip: "Those who say they will die first and then rise are in error. If they do not first receive the resurrection while they live, when they die they will receive nothing." He reveals how these practices were not only common in the ancient world but also shared similar facets in each tradition: initiates were led through a series of challenging ordeals, retreated for a three-day period into a cave or restricted room, often called a "bridal chamber," and while out-of-body, became fully conscious of travels in the Otherworld. Upon returning to the body, they were led by priests or priestesses to witness the rising of Sirius or the Equinox sunrise. Silva describes some of the secret chambers around the world where the ritual was performed, including the so-called tomb of Thutmosis III in Egypt, which featured an empty sarcophagus and detailed instructions for the living on how to enter the Otherworld and return alive. He reveals why esoteric and Gnostic sects claimed that the literal resurrection of Jesus promoted by the Church was a fraud and how the Church branded all living resurrection practices as a heresy, relentlessly persecuting the Gnostics to suppress knowledge of this self-empowering experience. He shows how the Knights Templar revived these concepts and how they survive to this day within Freemasonry.
Historical fiction Book of the Month in The Times To the god of old things To the gods of the riverbank To the god of hunters Assyria, in the reign of Ashurbanipal. For Aurya and her daydreaming brother Sharo, every day is a struggle for survival, as they dodge the beatings of their drunken father and scrabble for scraps of food. One violent evening, everything changes. Soon, they are on the barge of King Ashurbanipal, bound for the beautiful, near-mythical city of Nineveh. Their fates become inextricably bound to that of the king - and the injured lion captured by his men. Twenty-six centuries later, British-Iraqi archaeologist Katya joins a dig in Mosul to protect the ancient ruins of Nineveh from organised looters, following in the footsteps of her dead father. When she and Salim, a fellow archaeologist, discover an astonishingly beautiful and rare carving, they know their find will bring the world's attention to Mosul. But the real world crashes in to their studious idyll to catastrophic, devastating effect when ISIL storm Mosul - and take Katya, Salim and local girl Lola hostage. All Our Broken Idols is hauntingly evocative, a novel in which past and present lives intertwine and stories travel across the ages. It is a story about the importance of art and the threat it poses to those in power. And it is about bravery; standing up for what you believe in, and who you love.
"Egyptian Mummies" is regarded by egyptologists as the classic account of mummification in ancient Egypt. Originally published in 1924, its re-issue in complete form will be welcomed by all those who have sought rare second hand copies in vain. This book provides the most comprehensive account available of the technical processes and materials employed by the ancient Egyptian embalmers together with a historical analysis of their modification throughout the dynastic period. The authors draw on fully illustrated archaeological and pathological evidence together with Egyptian and Greek textual references to provide a thorough survey of the mummification process and attendant funeral ceremonies, and to offer clues to an understanding of the custom's significance and the reasons for its adoption.
Revised and expanded, this volume deals with the religious traditions of ancient Egypt. New material allows a much more precise allocation of religious texts and ideas in terms of time, place and social context.
Homer's tale of the abduction of Helen to Troy and the ten-year war to bring her back to Greece has fascinated mankind for centuries since he related it in The Iliad and The Odyssey. More recently, it has given rise to countless scholarly articles and books, extensive archaeological excavations, epic movies, television documentaries, stage plays, art and sculpture, even souvenirs and collectibles. However, while the ancients themselves thought that the Trojan War took place and was a pivotal event in world history, scholars during the Middle Ages and into the modern era derided it as a piece of fiction. This book investigates two major questions: did the Trojan War take place and, if so, where? It ultimately demonstrates that a war or wars in the vicinity of Troy probably did take place in some way, shape, or form during the Late Bronze Age, thereby forming the nucleus of the story that was handed down orally for centuries until put into essentially final form by Homer. However, Cline suggests that although a Trojan War (or wars) probably did take place, it was not fought because of Helen's abduction; there were far more compelling economic and political motives for conflict more than 3,000 years ago. Aside from Homer, the book examines various classical literary sources: the Epic Cycle, a saga found at the Hittite capital of Hattusas, treatments of the story by the playwrights of classical Greece, and alternative versions or continuations of the saga such as Virgil's Aeneid, which add detail but frequently contradict the original story. Cline also surveys archaeological attempts to document the Trojan War through excavations at Hissarlik, Turkey, especially the work of Heinrich Schliemann and his successors Wilhelm Doerpfeld, Carl Blegen, and Manfred Korfmann. ABOUT THE SERIES: The Very Short Introductions series from Oxford University Press contains hundreds of titles in almost every subject area. These pocket-sized books are the perfect way to get ahead in a new subject quickly. Our expert authors combine facts, analysis, perspective, new ideas, and enthusiasm to make interesting and challenging topics highly readable.
A view into the sophisticated and highly advanced civilization that
preceded the world of the pharaohs
First published in 1898, this guide to the primitive lore of Scandinavia recounts the creation of the world from the earliest fog-country and fire-land, the birth of the gods, their ascendancy, and their twilight. It profiles the chief gods and their attendant myths, including the all-wise Odin, father of the gods; hammer-wielding Thor; Baldur, the beautiful and wise; and malicious Loki, the devil of the North. It chronicles forms of worship and religious life, plus the most famous of the hero sagas: the Volsungs, the Helgi sagas; Volund the smith; the Hjathningar, and Beowulf. Unbridged republication of the A. Clinton Crowell translation as published by Thomas Y. Crowell Company. New York, 1913.
In response to her own motherís death, Starhawk, the bestselling author of the classic Spiral Dance, along with other Pagan authors, created in inspiring collection of essays, original prayers, blessings, and meditations that present the Pagan way of dying. In the tradition of such bestsellers as How We Die and The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying, it offers a new understanding of death and the rituals that surround it, adding insight and depth to spirituality.An inclusive, respectful, and deeply spiritual guidebook for those in the Pagan community and beyond, this powerful resource will help the dying make the transition between life and death, and their loved ones will find spiritual comfort and strength through the grieving process. It shows us that death can be a process of renewal and transformation.
You are in your bed. It is dark, you hear footsteps coming up the stairs and into your room. There is someone there - a presence. They lie on you or beside you, gripping you tightly, crushing you into the bed. You can't move. There may be a sound, a grunt or a strange smell. Time passes, you are paralysed with fear. Eventually the entity changes, expanding or contracting, moving away from you, sinking to the floor. With a great effort of will you manage to move the tip of your finger, then the hand until movement returns to your whole body and the experience ends. You have been visited by the old 'hag'. Dreams, the real theatre or perhaps battlefield of magick, influenced by cosmic tides that ebb and flow through us as they did the ancient Egyptians. Over the millennia we have lost contact with these tides, and stand alienated from Nature. To restore that first 'Eden' we must undertake an exercise in the archaeology of knowledge. We must reconstruct the ancient Egyptian Wheel of the Year, revealing archaic, pre-dynastic Mysteries, the Lunar Mysteries of Horus and Seth.
A practical guide to the Anglo-Saxon Futhark and how runes were used in Old England In the early Anglo-Saxon period, the region of Great Britain known as Northumbria was a kingdom in its own right. These lands, in what is now northern England and southeast Scotland, were the targets of the first Viking raids on Britain. This violent influx, followed by the establishment of trade routes with the Norse, brought the runes to the region, where they intermingled with local magical traditions and legends, resulting in the development of a practical runic wisdom entirely unique to Northumbria. In this guide to the Wyrdstaves, or runic practices, of Old Northumbria, Nigel Pennick examines the thirty-three runes of the Anglo-Saxon Futhark and how they were used in Old England for weaving the web of Wyrd. Sharing runic lore and legends from the area, he explains how the Northumbrian runes are unique because they contain elements from all the cultures of the region, including the Picts, Britons, Romans, Angles, Scots, and Norse. He illustrates how each rune in this tradition is a storehouse of ancient knowledge, detailing the meanings, historical uses, symbolism, and related tree and plant spirits for each of the thirty-three runes. The author describes the Northumbrian use of runes in magic and encryption and explores geomancy divination practices, the role of sacred numbers, and the power of the eight airts, or directions. He also shows how the Northumbrian runes have a close relationship with Ogam, the tree alphabet of the ancient Celts. Providing a magical history of Northumbria, as well as a look at the otherworldly beings who call these lands home, including boggarts, brownies, and dragons, Pennick explains how traditional spirituality is intimately tied to the landscape and the cycle of the seasons. He reveals how the runic tradition is still vibrantly alive in this area and ready for us to reawaken to it.
"Bulfinch's Mythology," by Thomas Bulfinch, is part of the "Barnes & Noble Classics"" "series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of "Barnes & Noble Classics": New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars Biographies of the authors Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events Footnotes and endnotes Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work Comments by other famous authors Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations Bibliographies for further reading Indices & Glossaries, when appropriateAll editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. "Barnes & Noble Classics "pulls together a constellation of influences-biographical, historical, and literary-to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works. One of the leading popularizers of classical learning in the nineteenth century, Thomas Bulfinch made the myths and legends of the ancient and medieval world available to American audiences through his three decisive works, "The Age of Fable," "The Age of Chivalry," and "Legends of Charlemagne," collectively published and widely known as "Bulfinch's Mythology," A banking clerk by day, Bulfinch spent his nights skillfully weaving often disparate versions of classical and medieval mythology into a coherent whole. The thoroughness with which he combed through hissources made his mythological books standard reference guides for many years, while the vigor of his storytelling enthralled generations of readers. Written to "teach mythology not as a study but as a relaxation from study," these timeless volumes span the ages: "The Age Of Fable" describes the gods and goddesses of Greece and Rome, as well as the mythology of the Germanic tribes, England, and the Near East; "The Age of Chivalry" tells the story of King Arthur and his court, Lancelot and Guinevere, and the death of Arthur; and "Legends of Charlemagne" gives a thrilling account of the reign of the first great French emperor, his wars, and his conquests. Charles Martin is a poet and translator. His verse translation of Ovid's "Metamorphoses" was published in 2003 by W. W. Norton and received the Harold Morton Landon Award from the Academy of American Poets for 2004. His most recent book of poems, "Starting from Sleep: New and Selected Poems," published in 2002 by the Sewanee Writers' Series/The Overlook Press, was a finalist for the Lenore Marshall Award of the Academy of American Poets.
Celtic Wales is about the beginnings of Wales and how the period from the Iron Age to medieval times helped shape and define the modern nation of Wales. Early Wales has a spectacular archaeological, literary and mythical heritage. This book uses archaeology and early historical documents to discuss all aspects of early Welsh society, from war to farming and from drinking habits to Druids.
For decades readers have chosen this book above all others to discover the thrilling, enchanting and fascinating world of Western mythology. From Odysseus's adventure-filled journey to the Norse god Odin's effort to postpone the final day of doom, Edith Hamilton's classic collection not only retells these stories with brilliant clarity but shows us how the ancients saw their own place in the world and how their themes echo in our consciousness today. An essential part of every home library, MYTHOLOGY is the definitive volume for anyone who wants to know the key dramas, the primary characters, the triumphs, failures, fears and hopes first narrated thousands of years ago - and still spellbinding to this day.
- The first book to seriously examine the feminine aspect of Egyptian religion sheds new light on the important role of the goddess Hathor-Sekhmet.- This accessible study sheds much new light on ancient Egypt and provides a powerful new perspective on women's theology.- The text is accompanied by nearly 200 striking and unusual illustrations Drawing from temple art, myths, rituals, and poetry, "Hathor Rising" is the first book to seriously examine the feminine aspect of the complex Egyptian pantheon and to shed new light on the pivotal place held there by the fiery serpent-eyed goddess, Hathor-Sekhmet. The primary importance of this goddess is emphasized by the serpent coiled over the forehead of every pharaoh--the supreme symbol of royal power in ancient Egypt. The erotic vitality and fierce aggression of the goddess, qualities commonly perceived as masculine in nature, gives the reigning Pharaoh the capacity for dynamic leadership. The author explores the symbolism behind this and other manifestations of the goddess in Egyptian cosmology and provides new revelations on the rich tradition of feminine divinity in Egypt. "Hathor Rising" is the most important study of one of the world's oldest civilizations to appear in years.
For millennia, the human imagination has been devoted to the Goddess, so it is hardly a surprise to find images of supernatural females like Sheela na gigs adorning sacred and secular architecture throughout Ireland, England, Wales, and Scotland. Appearing on rural churches, castles, bridges, holy wells, tombs, and standing stones, these powerful images of a figure fearlessly displaying her vulva embody the power of the Dark Goddess over the mysteries of sex, life, death, and rebirth. Exploring the art and myth of the Sheela na gig from Celtic and Classical times back to Paleolithic cave art, Starr Goode shows how the Sheela embraces a conundrum of opposites: she clearly offers up her ripe sex yet emanates a repelling menace from the upper half of her hag-like body. Through more than 150 photographs, the author shows how the Sheela is a goddess with the power to renew, a folk deity used to help women survive childbirth, and, as a guardian of doorways and castle walls, a liminal entity representing the gateway to the divine. She explains how these powerful images survived eradication during the rise of Christianity and retained their preeminent positions on sacred sites, including medieval churches.
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