CLAS 203 Lecture Notes - Lecture 12: Walter Burkert, Pierre Jeanpierre, Omen

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4 Aug 2016
Class 12: Myth, Religion and Public Life in Ancient Greece
Final exam next week, same room as class, same time as class.
Myth vs Religion
Not the same thing, not every myth was connected to a ritual.
Greeks did not have a sacred text
Panhellenic: including all the greeks
Olympic games were Panhellenic- meaning they involved all the greeks.
Review of the way Greeks talked about the divine:
Ta hiera: sacred things
Ta theia: divine things
Ta nomina: things observant of custom
Sacrifice happens in most detail writing in the Odyssey
Walter Burkert (1931-2015) and Jean-Pierre Vernant (1914-2007)
Two scholars on mythology, cult rituals and religion.
Sacrifice was the most sacred ritual in all of Greece (in particular animal sacrifice
for the Gods)
For Burkert the act of animal killing was about bringing a community together (in-
creased a sense of belonging for people)
For Vernant, killing was more done for the sake of ritual and tradition.
Sacrifice in honour of Athena:
Athena preferred cows, although other animals were sacrificed for other Gods.
Only the healthiest animals would be worthy of being sacrificed, otherwise the
Gods might take offence.
For Athena, cows would be fetched from the country side- blacksmith would cover
the horns of the cow with the golden foil.
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