The Invention of a Ritual

F. S. Naiden

in Smoke Signals for the Gods

Published in print December 2012 | ISBN: 9780199916405
Published online January 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780199980277 | DOI:
The Invention of a Ritual

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This chapter reviews recent scholarship on Greek sacrifice, especially that of Burkert and the team of Vernant and Detienne, with their roots in the late nineteenth century, especially Robertson Smith and Durkheim. Through an extended analysis of Nestor’s sacrifice in Odyssey 3, it argues against overemphasis on animals, eating, and violence, and through reference to other sacrifices in the Odyssey, it argues against taking acts of sacrifice out of their moral and narrative context. Most of all, it argues against the neglect of the divine role in sacrifice.

Keywords: Robertson Smith; Durkheim; Burkert; Vernant; Odyssey

Chapter.  16707 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Religion in the Ancient World

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