Review by Choice Review
Blackwell "Companions" have well-established reference potential defined by the breadth of scholarly perspectives presented. Twenty-seven European and North American contributors and editor Ogden (Univ. of Exeter, UK) discuss the wide variety of possible approaches when the non-Greek umbrella term "religion" is applied to classical Greek antiquity. The detailed introduction outlines the intent of each contributor. The nine parts range from a single essay providing background on the ancient Near East to an epilogue on myth and divinity as represented in cinema. Between are multi-essay topics covering persona (gods variously related, the dead, heroes); communications (prayers/hymns, sacrifice, divination); sacred space/time (sanctuaries, purification, festivals, calendar); systems (three urban and one regional); organizations (society, family, sexuality); mysteries and magic; and intersections with literature (including "histories"), philosophy (limited to Plato's "theology"), and art (with 14 of the otherwise scattered 31 illustrations). A "Guide to Further Reading," integrated with a bibliography, completes each essay. This volume offers adequate conversation with the history of the studies behind these well-documented narrations, along with cross-referencing between them. The extensive index lacks inscriptions cited, and would have benefited from more Greek terminology. Summing Up: Recommended. All levels. C. C. Smith emeritus, University of Wisconsin--River Falls
Copyright American Library Association, used with permission.