The "Sacred History" of Euhemerus of Messene

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Walter de Gruyter, 30 apr 2013 - 293 pagine

In his utopian novel Hiera Anagraphe (Sacred History) Euhemerus of Messene (ca. 300 B.C.) describes his travel to the island Panchaia in the Indian Ocean where he discovered an inscribed stele in the temple of Zeus Triphylius. It turned out that the Olympian gods (Uranos, Kronos, Zeus) were deified kings. The travels of Zeus allowed to describe peoples and places all over the world.

Winiarczyk investigates the sources of the theological views of Euhemerus. He proves that Euhemerus’ religious views were rooted in old Greek tradition (the worship of heroes, gods as founders of their own cult, tombs of gods, euergetism, rationalistic interpretation of myths, the explanations of the origin of religion by the sophists, the ruler cult). The description of the Panchaian society is intended to suggest an archaic and closed culture, in which the stele recording res gestae of the deified kings might have been preserved.

The translation of Ennius’ Euhemerus sive Sacra historia (ca. 200 - ca. 194) is a free prose rendering, which Lactantius knew only indirectly. The book is concluded by a short history of Euhemerism in the pagan, Christian and Jewish literature.

 

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Indice

I The life of Euhemerus
1
II Euhemerus Ἱερὰ Ἀναγραφή
13
III The theological views of Euhemerus of Messene
27
IV Society and economy in the Ἱερὰ Ἀναγραφή
71
V The Zeus Sanctuary on the Island of Panchaea
87
VI An attempt to interpret the Ἱερὰ Ἀναγραφή
99
VII Ennius Euhemerus sive sacra historia
109
VIII Euhemerism in the ancient world
123
IX Conclusions
161
Homines pro diis culti
167
Deos homines fuisse
171
The tombs of the gods
177
Bibliography
183
Indexes
247
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Informazioni sull'autore (2013)

Marek Winiarczyk, University of Wrocław, Poland.

Informazioni bibliografiche