- Title Pages
- Notes on Contributors
- Introduction the Greek Gods in the Twentieth Century
- 1 What is A Greek God?
- 2 Canonizing the Pantheon: The Dodekatheon in Greek Religion and its Origins
- 3 Gods in Greek Inscriptions: Some Methodological Questions
- 4 Metamorphoses of Gods into Animals and Humans
- 5 Sacrificing to the Gods: Ancient Evidence and Modern Interpretations
- 6 Getting in Contact: Concepts of Human—Divine Encounter in Classical Greek Art
- 7 New Statues for Old Gods
- 8 Zeus at Olympia
- 9 Zeus in Aeschylus: The Factor of Monetization
- 10 Hephaistos Sweats or How to Construct an Ambivalent God
- 11 Transforming Artemis: From the Goddess of the Outdoors to City Goddess
- 12 Herakles Between Gods and Heroes
- 13 Identities of Gods and Heroes: Athenian Garden Sanctuaries and Gendered Rites of Passage
- 14 Early Greek Theology: God as Nature and Natural Gods
- 15 Gods in early Greek Historiography
- 16 Gods in Apulia
- 17 Lucian's Gods: Lucian's Understanding of the Divine
- 18 The Gods in the Greek Novel
- 19 Reading Pausanias: Cults of the Gods and Representation of the Divine
- 20 Kronos and the Titans as Powerful Ancestors: A Case Study of the Greek Gods in Later Magical Spells
- 21 <i>Homo Fictor Deorum Est</i>: Envisioning the Divine in Late Antique Divinatory Spells
- 22 The Gods in Later Orphism
- 23 Christian Apologists and Greek Gods
- 24 The Materiality of God's Image: The Olympian Zeus and Ancient Christology
- 25 The Greek Gods in Late Nineteenth- and Early Twentieth-Century German and British Scholarship
What is A Greek God?
What is A Greek God?
- (p.19) 1 What is A Greek God?
- The Gods of Ancient Greece
Jan N. Bremmer
- Edinburgh University Press
The Greeks were polytheists who believed in a multitude of gods. In the modern discussion of Greek religion the gods take second place to ritual, and the study of individual gods is privileged over attempts to define their general characteristics qua gods. While studies of the functions and personalities of gods like Apollo, Demeter, Dionysos or Herakles abound, no comprehensive treatment of the generic properties of the Greek gods exists. The question “What is Greek god?” is considered too ‘theological’ and therefore shunned. This chapter examines four divine qualities that are shared by all the Greek gods—their immortality, anthropomorphism, foreknowledge, and finally their power.
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