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Miasma: Pollution and Purification in Early Greek Religionby Robert Parker
Synopses & Reviews
Most of the commonly read Greek texts address "pollution". The pollution theme appears in tragedies, historical texts, and political oratory. Purity is a constant concern in ritual texts, and Greeks underwent many small purifications in their everyday lives. Certain archaic religious movements even made "purification" the path to felicity in the afterlife. First published in 1983, Miasma is the first work in English to treat this theme in detail.
Readers of Greek literary, historical, oratorical, ritual and even medical texts, are all liable to encounter ideas of pollution. This text seeks to describe and analyze this wide-ranging and complex concept.
This was the first work in English to treat the themes of pollution and purification in depth and has become a classic. It brings together the different categories of evidence while doing justice to the diversity and complexity of the phenomenon.
About the Author
Robert Parker is Fellow and Tutor in Greek and Latin Languages and Literature at Oriel College, Oxford. Dr. Parker is also the author of Athenian Religion: A History (OUP, 1996).
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