Greek hero cults and ideas of immortality 1921 PDF book by Richard Farnell

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Greek hero cults and ideas of immortality

The work has been long delayed by other literary tasks and the cares of official life. And delay, whether chosen or enforced, gives a writer the advantage of living through many temporary phases of theorizing and of chewing the cud of long reflection before making up his mind. I was glad to find that the settled conviction that at last, I had reached concerning Greek heroic saga and saga-personages was the same as that which inspires Mr. Chadwick in his admirable treatise

The Heroic Age. For a general exposition of my views on the right and wrong methods of mythologic interpretation, I may be permitted to refer to my paper published by the British Academy on ' The Value and the Methods of Mythologic Study in 1919. If this treatise is censured as a revival of  Euhemerism ', it will only be censured on this ground by those who have not followed recent researches in anthropology and the comparative study of the saga. And if, though that is not its main intention, it helps to corroborate Mr. Chadwick's contention that saga is imperfect history, I shall be content; for I have long felt the unreality of the distinction between the ' prehistoric ' and the ' historic ' periods.

 But my main task has been to track and collect the evidence of the worship of the dead, the apotheosis of the human being, from the earliest days of Greece to the latest, my interest in this religious phenomenon has been sustained by the light that it throws upon much of the religion, the history, and the mentality of the Hellenic race. A serious and systematic treatment of this theme has long been a desideratum in our literature; it is for criticism to pronounce whether this treatise supplies it.

The book has 15 Chapters .some of them:


General Survey of the Prehistoric Period. 1-18
Importance of the subject, especially for Hellenism, 1-3; was the worship of the dead aboriginal among the Hellenes or the pre- Hellenic populations? evidence from Cretan and Mycenaean graves, the distinction between tendance and worship, 3-5;_evidence from Homer as to worship and beliefs concerning the dead, -"'5-12; from Hesiod in his account of the four ages of man, 12-14;. meaning of the word "poj "15-16; a priori probability of some worship of the dead in the proto-Hellenic period, 16-18*^


Seven distinguishable types of heroes, in criteria for judging the question of the divine origin of hero, 20; Trophonios and other  examples, 21-25; Linos, 23-30, a~vegetation-daimon who developed into culture-hero, Argive-ritual of the dpuis and the slaughter of dogs, 21-28, primitive traits in legend transformed by Hellenic genius, 30; legends arising from ritual of hanging puppets on trees, 30-32; CAan/a-ritual and legend at Delphoi, 32-35; Ino-Leukothea, 35-47, in Homer a human goddess, apparently maritime: but in cult a chthonian rather than a sea- goddess: the name Ino cannot be dissociated from Leukothea, which probably arose from a rite of immersion, 35-39: Melikertes- Palaimon of no independent origin but always her young son, compare Opheltes and Sosipolis, 39-42: legend of the cauldron examined, suggests a cathartic-baptismal ritual rather than human sacrifice, late survival in Sryria, 42-43: ethnic question, Ino, and Melikertes inherited by the Minyans from Minoan Crete, 45-47; Europa, Cretan mother-goddess, festival of Hellotia, 47-48; Ariadne, Hellenic transformation of Cretan goddess, the chthonian Aphrodite, little or no cult on Greek mainland, 42=49; Aristaios, earth-spirit, imagined as male, of divine origin, ' son of the Best {'ApicTt]) ', but developed into a culture-hero rather than a god. Myths about vegetation-daimones are often independent of their origin or of ritual, 49-5-2.

Author Richard Farnell
 Publication Date:1921

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