This book differs from other introductions to Ancient Greek religion. It looks not at the religious practices of the Greeks, but at their beliefs: in divine retribution, for example, divination, the afterlife and predestination. It examines not only what the Greeks believed but also how they believed it: how, for example, they sustained their belief in the truth of oracles in the light of experience. The book also addresses a number of ideas central to the modern understanding of Greek religion: the centrality of the city, the absence of a personal relationship between divinity and worshipper, and the primacy of ritual. The text is accessible to students and the general reader and is accompanied by an extensive catalogue of passages from ancient sources.
Thomas Harrison is Rathbone Professor of Ancient History and Classical Archaeology at the University of Liverpool. His publications include Divinity and History: the religion of Herodotus (2000), The Emptiness of Asia: Aeschylus' Persians and the history of the fifth century (2000), and (as editor) Greeks and Barbarians (2002) and the Edinburgh Companion to Ancient Greece and Rome (2006).