If you told a woman her sex had a shared, long-lived history with weasels, she might deck you. But those familiar with mythology know better: that the connection between women and weasels is an ancient and favorable one, based in the Greek myth of a midwife who tricked the gods to ease Heracles’s birth—and was turned into a weasel by Hera as punishment. Following this story as it is retold over centuries in literature and art, Women and Weasels takes us on a journey through mythology and ancient belief, revising our understanding of myth, heroism, and the status of women and animals in Western culture. Maurizio Bettini recounts and analyzes a variety of key literary and visual moments that highlight the weasel’s many attributes. We learn of its legendary sexual and childbearing habits and symbolic association with witchcraft and midwifery, its role as a domestic pet favored by women, and its ability to slip in and out of tight spaces. The weasel, Bettini reveals, is present at many unexpected moments in human history, assisting women in labor and thwarting enemies who might plot their ruin. With a parade of symbolic associations between weasels and women—witches, prostitutes, midwives, sisters-in-law, brides, mothers, and heroes—Bettini brings to life one of the most venerable and enduring myths of Western culture.
Mythologies of Birth in Ancient Greece and Rome
Author: Maurizio Bettini
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Category: Literary Criticism
Much evidence on the phenomenon of prophecy has come down as part of stories and narratives. The essays in this volume search the role of prophets and prophecy in a variety of text, mainly from the Hebrew Bible.
Papers Read at the Fifth Meeting of the Edinburgh Prophecy Network, Utrecht, October 2013
Author: Bob E.J.H. Becking,Hans Barstad
This book offers both a complete history of Roman slavery and an investigation into finding and interpreting evidence of it. Evidence on Roman slavery for the period is minimal. To get at its mechanics and underpinnings, we must look at it indirectly. Slavery is a "relationship" of power, and to study slavery--and not simply masters or slaves--we need to see the interactions of individuals who speak to each other, a rare kind of evidence from the ancient world. Plautus' comedies could be our most reliable source for reconstructing the lives of slaves in ancient Rome. By reading literature alongside the historical record, we can conjure a thickly contextualized picture of slavery in the late third and early second centuries BCE, the earliest period for which we have such evidence. The book discusses how slaves were captured and sold; their treatment by the master and the community; the growth of the conception of the slave as "other than human," and as chattel; and the problem of freedom both for slaves and society.
Author: Roberta Stewart
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Here there be dragons--this notation was often made on ancient maps to indicate the edges of the known world and what lay beyond. Heroes who ventured there were only as great as the beasts they encountered. This encyclopedia contains more than 2,200 monsters of myth and folklore, who both made life difficult for humans and fought by their side. Entries describe the appearance, behavior, and cultural origin of mythic creatures well-known and obscure, collected from traditions around the world.
Author: Theresa Bane
Category: Body, Mind & Spirit
Histories of Rome emphasize the ways the empire assimilated conquered societies, bringing civilization to “barbarians.” Yet these interpretations leave us with an incomplete understanding of the diverse cultures that flourished in the provinces. Andrew C. Johnston recaptures the identities, memories, and discourses of these variegated societies.
Identity in Roman Gaul and Spain
Author: Andrew C. Johnston
Publisher: Harvard University Press
When Oedipus met the Sphinx on the road to Thebes, he did more than answer a riddle—he spawned a myth that, told and retold, would become one of Western culture’s central narratives about self-understanding. Identifying the story as a threshold myth—in which the hero crosses over into an unknown and dangerous realm where rules and limits are not known—Oedipus and the Sphinx offers a fresh account of this mythic encounter and how it deals with the concepts of liminality and otherness. Almut-Barbara Renger assesses the story’s meanings and functions in classical antiquity—from its presence in ancient vase painting to its absence in Sophocles’s tragedy—before arriving at two of its major reworkings in European modernity: the psychoanalytic theory of Sigmund Freud and the poetics of Jean Cocteau. Through her readings, she highlights the ambiguous status of the Sphinx and reveals Oedipus himself to be a liminal creature, providing key insights into Sophocles’s portrayal and establishing a theoretical framework that organizes evaluations of the myth’s reception in the twentieth century. Revealing the narrative of Oedipus and the Sphinx to be the very paradigm of a key transition experienced by all of humankind, Renger situates myth between the competing claims of science and art in an engagement that has important implications for current debates in literary studies, psychoanalytic theory, cultural history, and aesthetics.
The Threshold Myth from Sophocles through Freud to Cocteau
Author: Almut-Barbara Renger
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
Category: Literary Criticism
Sarah Iles Johnston argues that the nature of myths as gripping tales starring vivid characters enabled them to do their most important work: sustaining belief in the gods and heroes of Greek religion. She shows how Greek myths--and the stories told by all cultures--affect our shared view of the cosmos and the creatures who inhabit it.
Author: Sarah Iles Johnston
Category: Discourse analysis, Narrative
The Women who influenced the History of Rome
Author: Paul Chrystal
Publisher: Fonthill Media
The idea of "world religions" expresses a vague commitment to multiculturalism. Not merely a descriptive concept, "world religions" is actually a particular ethos, a pluralist ideology, a logic of classification, and a form of knowledge that has shaped the study of religion and infiltrated ordinary language. In this ambitious study, Tomoko Masuzawa examines the emergence of "world religions" in modern European thought. Devoting particular attention to the relation between the comparative study of language and the nascent science of religion, she demonstrates how new classifications of language and race caused Buddhism and Islam to gain special significance, as these religions came to be seen in opposing terms-Aryan on one hand and Semitic on the other. Masuzawa also explores the complex relation of "world religions" to Protestant theology, from the hierarchical ordering of religions typical of the Christian supremacists of the nineteenth century to the aspirations of early twentieth-century theologian Ernst Troeltsch, who embraced the pluralist logic of "world religions" and by so doing sought to reclaim the universalist destiny of European modernity.
Or, How European Universalism Was Preserved in the Language of Pluralism
Author: Tomoko Masuzawa
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
This is the first full-length English translation of Benjamin Constant's massive study of humanity's religious forms and development, published in five volumes between 1824 and 1831. Constant (1767-1830) regarded On Religion, worked on over the course of many years, as perhaps his most important philosophical work. He called it "the only interest, the only consolation of my life," and "the book that I was destined by nature to write." While the recent revival of interest in Constant's thought has been welcome and fruitful, it has been incomplete, tending to leave out of account his writings on religion. In this connection, On Religion is essential reading and of interest for many reasons. As an analysis of humanity's religious experience, the work is notable for its methodology. Unlike previous writers with dogmatic commitments, whether theological or philosophical, Constant aimed to work with well-established facts and to relate religious forms to their historical contexts and civilizational developments. In this way, he was a precursor of the scientific study of religion. This objectivity, however, was not tantamount to moral-political neutrality. In the aftermath of the French Revolution, he wanted partisans of the new order to recognize that the religious impulse was natural to the human heart: to extirpate religion was therefore a fool's errand and worse. Likewise, he instructed religious reactionaries that history had left them behind: now the natural state of the religious sentiment was an unfettered "spirituality" left free to find new forms of expression. His counsel to contemporaries has proven prescient concerning subsequent religious developments in democratic and totalitarian societies. In his day, Constant was a consistent liberal, a life-long advocate of representative government, as well as of the central liberal arrangement concerning religion: separation of church and state. But On Religion demonstrates that principled liberalism can turn a sympathetic as well as analytic eye toward religion and, in an unbegrudging way, find an important place for it in free society. There are signs that this is a lesson that contemporary liberalism would do well to relearn. Peter Paul Seaton Jr. teaches philosophy at St. Mary's Seminary and University in Baltimore. His scholarly interests focus on the intersection of religion, politics, and philosophy. He has translated a number of works in French thought, especially political philosophy. These include works by Pierre Manent, Democracy without Nations? and Modern Liberty and Its Discontents (with Daniel J. Mahoney), Chantal Delsol, Unjust Justice, and Rémi Brague, On the God of the Christians and The Legitimacy of the Human.
Author: Benjamin Constant
Publisher: Liberty Fund
Author: Henry David Thoreau
Category: Concord River
In the decades surrounding World War I, religious belief receded in the face of radical new ideas such as Marxism, modern science, Nietzschean philosophy, and critical theology. Modes of Faith addresses both this decline of religious belief and the new modes of secular faith that took religion's place in the minds of many writers and poets. Theodore Ziolkowski here examines the motives for this embrace of the secular, locating new modes of faith in art, escapist travel, socialism, politicized myth, and utopian visions. James Joyce, he reveals, turned to art as an escape while Hermann Hesse made a pilgrimage to India in search of enlightenment. Other writers, such as Roger Martin du Gard and Thomas Mann, sought temporary solace in communism or myth. And H. G. Wells, Ziolkowski argues, took refuge in utopian dreams projected in another dimension altogether. Rooted in innovative and careful comparative reading of the work of writers from France, England, Germany, Italy, and Russia, Modes of Faith is a critical masterpiece by a distinguished literary scholar that offers an abundance of insight to anyone interested in the human compulsion to believe in forces that transcend the individual.
Secular Surrogates for Lost Religious Belief
Author: Theodore Ziolkowski
This antiquarian book contains Gilbert Keith Chesterton's 1926 thesis, "The Outline of Sanity". Within this famous book Chesterton explores the subjects of poverty, concentration of wealth, work, agriculture, machinery, and capital gain. Chesterton championed wealth distribution, but was staunchly opposed to socialism; he was an advocate of private ownership, but was an anti-capitalist. This fascinating text will appeal to those with an interest in economics, and it constitutes a veritable must-read for fans of Chesterton's seminal work. The chapters of this book include: "Some General Ideas", "The Beginning of the Quarrel", "The Peril of the Hour", "The Chance of Recovery", "Some Aspects of Big Business", "The Bluff of the Big Shops", "A Misunderstanding about Method", "A Case in Point", "The Tyranny of Trusts", "Some Aspects of the Land", etcetera. We are republishing this vintage text now in an affordable, modern edition - complete with a new biography of the author.
Author: G. K. Chesterton
Publisher: Read Books Ltd
Category: Business & Economics
The prominent position occupied by Eusebius of Caesarea in the Arian controversy and the Council of Nicaea has given rise to so many important treatises on his life and character, that it would be quite superfluous to prefix a formal biography to the present edition of one among his many literary works. It will be sufficient to mention a few of the best sources of information accessible to the English reader. Aeterna Press
Author: Eusebius,Aeterna Press
Publisher: Aeterna Press
In the period domoninated by the triumphs of scientific rationalism, how do we account for the extraordinary success of such occult movements as astrology or the revival of witchcraft? From his perspective as a historian of religions, the eminent scholar Mircea Eliade shows that such popular trends develop from archaic roots and periodically resurface in certain myths, symbols, and rituals. In six lucid essays collected for this volume, Eliade reveals the profound religious significance that lies at the heart of many contemporary cultural vogues. Since all of the essays except the last were originally delivered as lectures, their introductory character and lively oral style make them particularly accessible to the intelligent nonspecialist. Rather than a popularization, Occultism, Witchcraft, and Cultural Fashions is the fulfillment of Eliade's conviction that the history of religions should be read by the widest possible audience.
Essays in Comparative Religion
Author: Mircea Eliade
Publisher: University of Chicago Press
This study examines the monsters that haunt twelfth-century British texts, arguing that in these strange bodies are expressed fears and fantasies about community, identity and race during the period. Cohen finds the origins of these monsters in a contemporary obsession with blood, both the literal and metaphorical kind.
On Difficult Middles
Author: J. Cohen
Category: Literary Criticism
“You’ll call this sentimental–perhaps–but then a dog somehow represents the private side of life, the play side,” Virginia Woolf confessed to a friend. And it is this private, playful side, the richness and power of the bond between five great women writers and their dogs, that Maureen Adams celebrates in this deeply engaging book. In Shaggy Muses, we visit Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Flush, the golden Cocker Spaniel who danced the poet away from death, back to life and human love. We roam the wild Yorkshire moors with Emily Brontë, whose fierce Mastiff mix, Keeper, provided a safe and loving outlet for the writer’s equally fierce spirit. We enter the creative sanctum of Emily Dickinson, which she shared only with Carlo, the gentle, giant Newfoundland who soothed her emotional terrors. We mingle with Edith Wharton, whose ever-faithful Pekes warmed her lonely heart during her restless travels among Europe and America’ s social and intellectual elite. We are privileged guests in the fragile universe of Virginia Woolf, who depended for emotional support and sanity not only on her human loved ones but also on her dogs, especially Pinka–a gift from her lover, Vita Sackville-West–a black Cocker Spaniel who became a strong, bright thread in the fabric of Virginia and Leonard Woolf’s life together. Based on diaries, letters, and other contemporary accounts–and featuring many illustrations of the writers and their dogs– these five miniature biographies allow us unparalleled intimacy with women of genius in their hours of domestic ease and inner vulnerability. Shaggy Muses also enchants us with a pack of new friends: Flush, Keeper, Carlo, Foxy, Linky, Grizzle, Pinka, and all the other devoted canines who loved and served these great writers.
The Dogs Who Inspired Virginia Woolf, Emily Dickinson, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Edith Wharton, and Emily Bronte
Author: Maureen Adams
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Category: Biography & Autobiography
Storytelling is an ancient practice known in all civilizations throughout history. Characters, tales, techniques, oral traditions, motifs, and tale types transcend individual cultures - elements and names change, but the stories are remarkably similar with each rendition, highlighting the values and concerns of the host culture. Examining the stories and the oral traditions associated with different cultures offers a unique view of practices and traditions."Storytelling: An Encyclopedia of Mythology and Folklore" brings past and present cultures of the world to life through their stories, oral traditions, and performance styles. It combines folklore and mythology, traditional arts, history, literature, and festivals to present an overview of world cultures through their liveliest and most fascinating mode of expression. This appealing resource includes specific storytelling techniques as well as retellings of stories from various cultures and traditions.
An Encyclopedia of Mythology and Folklore
Author: Josepha Sherman
“The evil that men do” has been chronicled for thousands of years on the European stage, and perhaps nowhere else is human fear of our own evil more detailed than in its personifications in theater. In Stages of Evil, Robert Lima explores the sociohistorical implications of Christian and pagan representations of evil and the theatrical creativity that occultism has engendered. By examining examples of alchemy, astronomy, demonology, exorcism, fairies, vampires, witchcraft, hauntings, and voodoo in prominent plays, Stages of Evil explores American and European perceptions of occultism from medieval times to the modern age.
Occultism in Western Theater and Drama
Author: Robert Lima
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky