The Gods of Olympus: A History

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Fun and well-written, The Gods of Olympus does not recount Grecian mythology, but rather follows the history of these gods from Homer through Christianity and to the modern day. Although the gods were originally worshiped as actual divine beings, over time their form and function changed. Author Barbara Graziosi is fascinated by how resilient and enduring these particular ideas have been. Using archaeological evidence and examining the works of writers both ancient and modern, Graziosi introduces the Greek gods in their earliest forms of worship and in imposing Greek temples. Alexander the Great and other conquerors used the gods to solidify their claims to power, setting themselves up as gods equal to the Olympians. The early Christians reimagined the Greek gods as demons, or as allegorical representations of the heavens, and eventually Renaissance writers and artists began turning to classical Greek ideas again for their humanist models of perfection. Explorers and missionaries in the Age of Discovery saw the Olympian gods in the religions of the new peoples they met, and the gods again adapted. It’s a great story, an unusual and fresh look at a pantheon that seems destined to live on long after we are gone.

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Star Count 5/5
Format Hard
Page Count 304 pages
Publisher Metropolitan Books
Publish Date 2014-Mar-11
ISBN 9780805091571 Buy this Book
Issue June 2014
Category History


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