The House of Hades: Studies in Ancient Greek Eschatology by Lars Albinus

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By Lars Albinus

This precise scrutiny of the traditional Greek belief and figuring out of existence after loss of life is mainly concerned about how the Greeks communicated their ideals. the 1st a part of the publication examines the Greek cult of the lifeless via Homer's works, corresponding to within the presentation of Patroclus' funeral, the hero's `psyche' and the underworld. Albinus secondly seems to be on the Orphic mystical culture which originated within the seventh and sixth centuries BC and provided a extra confident view of an individual's destiny. the ultimate part in short examines different secret cults, similar to the Eleusinian cult. The argument, principally in keeping with linguistic information, is aimed extra at experts in Greek mysticism than at a normal readership.

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Regarded as a significant part of the rites de passage the circling seems rather to point, before anything else, to a ritual isolation of the corpse. Such a demarcation is typical in rites of separation as well as rites of w/egra/ion,30establishing, as it seems, both the spatial and the temporal 25. 143. Burial embalming with honey is mentioned, for example, as a custom among the Spartans, cf. Plut. Age. 3, as well as among the Babylonians, Hdt. 678-83. 26. Thus the word αμβροσία denies the state of being 'mortal' (βροτός), and νίκταρ can be etymologized, according to Nagy (1983, 205-9), as a victory (cf.

37. See also Douglas, 1966,159 f. Tite Funeral R ites o f P atroclus 39 co m p an io n , A chilles h im self seem s to conduct a kind o f ritual on a personal level w ith in the overall social level of the funeral. 60). It is as if Achilles is p rep arin g h im self for an in cu bation (ritual o f o racu lar dream ing), and indeed the actual dream , w hich 'tak es p la ce' in the d em arcated space, can be view ed as su ch an incubation. Later, w e shall delve into oth er exam ples of ritual d ream ing, w h ich orders the in cu b an t to act in a certain w ay.

Cit. 6), and unfortunately, this is the m ain prem ise on w hich he builds his thesis that ψυχή originally and basically denoted a hidden, im m ortal soul, w h ich releases itself from the body at the m om ent of death. This confronts us with tw o problem s. First, w e m ay have to pursue the question, if only very brief­ ly, w h eth er the generalized psyche-as-soul-thesis could possibly find any other phenom enological support (other than that w h ich underlies R oh d e's study). Second ly, how are w e to understand the H om eric psyche on its ow n term s ?

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