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Bronze Age Eleusis and the Origins of the Eleusinian Mysteries


  • Date Published: July 2015
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781107010994

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About the Authors
  • For more than one thousand years, people from every corner of the Greco-Roman world sought the hope for a blessed afterlife through initiation into the Mysteries of Demeter and Kore at Eleusis. In antiquity itself and in our memory of antiquity, the Eleusinian Mysteries stand out as the oldest and most venerable mystery cult. Despite the tremendous popularity of the Eleusinian Mysteries, their origins are unknown. Because they are lost in an era without written records, they can only be reconstructed with the help of archaeology. This book provides a much-needed synthesis of the archaeology of Eleusis during the Bronze Age and reconstructs the formation and early development of the Eleusinian Mysteries. The discussion of the origins of the Eleusinian Mysteries is complemented with discussions of the theology of Demeter and an update on the state of research in the archaeology of Eleusis from the Bronze Age to the end of antiquity.

    • The only book on the origins of the Eleusinian Mysteries
    • The most recent update on the status of research on the archaeology of Eleusis and the religious aspects of the Eleusinian Mysteries
    • The only book on the history of Eleusis in the Bronze Age
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    Product details

    • Date Published: July 2015
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781107010994
    • length: 246 pages
    • dimensions: 254 x 175 x 25 mm
    • weight: 0.73kg
    • contains: 79 b/w illus. 1 map
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Part I. Myth and Cult:
    1. Myths and legends
    2. The theology of Demeter at Eleusis
    Part II. The Site and its Exploration:
    3. Landscape and environment
    4. The exploration of Eleusis
    Part III. The Archaeology and Monuments of Eleusis:
    5. Early Bronze Age
    6. Middle Bronze Age
    7. Early Mycenaean
    8. The period of the palaces (LH IIIA2 to LH IIIB)
    9. The post-palatial period
    10. The post-Bronze Age history of the Sanctuary
    Part IV. The Origins and Early Development of the Eleusinian Mysteries:
    11. Theories about the origins of the Mysteries
    12. The origins and early development of the Eleusinian Mysteries.

  • Author

    Michael B. Cosmopoulos, University of Missouri, St Louis
    Michael B. Cosmopoulos is Professor of Archaeology and holder of the endowed Chair in Greek Studies at the University of Missouri, St Louis. He has published fifteen books and over one hundred scholarly papers on Greek archaeology, history and religion. He has excavated at several sites in Greece, including Mycenae, Epidaurus, Corinth, Ithaca, Oropos, Pylos and Eleusis. Currently he is the director of the excavations at Iklaina. He has received numerous research and teaching awards, including the Rh Award for Outstanding Contributions to Social Sciences and the Humanities and the Archaeological Institute of America Award for Excellence in Teaching. He is a National Geographic Society Explorer and a Fellow of the Academy of Science St Louis.

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