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The Cosmos in Ancient Greek Religious Experience
Sacred Space, Memory, and Cognition


  • Date Published: October 2020
  • availability: Available
  • format: Hardback
  • isbn: 9781108488174

£ 79.99

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About the Authors
  • In this book, Efrosyni Boutsikas examines ancient Greek religious performances, intricately orchestrated displays comprising topography, architecture, space, cult, and myth. These various elements were unified in a way that integrated the body within cosmic space and made the sacred extraordinary. Boutsikas also explores how natural light or the night-sky may have assisted in intensifying the experience of these rituals, and how they may have determined ancient perceptions of the cosmos. The author's digital and virtual reconstructions of ancient skyscapes and religious structures during such occurrences unveil a deeper understanding of the importance of time and place in religious experience. Boutsikas shows how they shaped emotions, cosmological beliefs, and ritual memory of the participants. Her study revolutionises our understanding on ancient emotionality and cognitive experience, demonstrating how Greek religious spaces were vibrant arenas of a shared experience of the cosmos.

    • Provides a nuanced inter-disciplinary approach to the study of ancient Greek religion which incorporates astronomy (time), classical texts, and archaeology along with current digital technology
    • Offers palpable examples of how experience can influence cognitive processes and the formation and retrieval of memories
    • Introduces total environment reconstructions, which include also the sky as visible at the time of religious performances in antiquity
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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2020
    • format: Hardback
    • isbn: 9781108488174
    • length: 278 pages
    • dimensions: 259 x 180 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.77kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. Methodological Advances, Approaches, and Considerations
    3. Worship in Space and Time
    4. Astronomy and Perceptual Cognition in Apolline Cults
    5. The Cosmos in Manifestations of Identity, Memory, and Remembrance
    6. Cosmic Time in Greek Mystery Cults
    7. Epilogue.

  • Author

    Efrosyni Boutsikas, University of Kent
    Efrosyni Boutsikas is Lecturer in Classical Archaeology at the University of Kent.

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