The Politics of Sacrifice in Early Greek Myth and Poetry

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Cambridge University Press, Mar 30, 2017 - Fiction - 198 pages
This book offers a new interpretation of ancient Greek sacrifice from a cultural poetic perspective. Through close readings of the Theogony, the Homeric Hymn to Demeter, the Homeric Hymn to Hermes, and the Odyssey in conjunction with evidence from material culture, it demonstrates how sacrifice narratives in early Greek hexameter poetry are intimately connected to a mythic-poetic discourse referred to as the 'politics of the belly'. This mythic-poetic discourse presents sacrifice as a site of symbolic conflict between the male stomach and female womb for both mortals and immortals. Ultimately, the book argues that the ritual of sacrifice operates as a cultural mechanism for the perpetuation of patriarchal ideology not just in early Greek hexameter, but throughout Greek cultural history.
 

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Contents

The Promethean
27
Sacrifice Succession and the Politics of Patriarchy
55
Semiotic Sacrifice and Patriarchal
90
Odysseus Returns to the Fatherland
119
Sacrificial Narrative and the Politics of the Belly
156
Bibliography
173
Index Locorum
193
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About the author (2017)

Charles H. Stocking is an assistant professor in the Department of Classical Studies at the University of Western Ontario. He has published multiple articles on the interaction of ritual, politics, and the body in Greek literature and culture in journals such as Mètis, Arion, and Classical Antiquity. He has received fellowships with the Classics in Contemporary Perspectives Initiative at the University of South Carolina and with the Harvard Center for Hellenic Studies, and he is currently an associate member with the research group ANHIMA (Anthropologie et histoire des mondes antiques) in Paris.

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