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The So-Called Envy Of The Gods: Revisiting A Dogma Of Ancient Greek Religion

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Chapter Summary

To begin with, scholars who discover the 'envy of the gods' in the ancient texts tend to often deal with ancient religion as if it were a monolithic whole, that is, they tend to obviate both chronological and spatial differences in the Greek view of the gods. This chapter is divided into three sections. The first provides an overview of the main interpretations of the phenomenon and argues that in interpreting the relationship between men and gods in Greece scholars are in fact projecting a psychological model that is alien to Antiquity. The second section offers a conceptual, sociological, historical and terminological analysis that may allow in the third section a correct understanding of the texts that have traditionally been interpreted as a reflection of so-called divine envy. 'Envy of the gods' was common place in the study of Greek religion and was even found in Homer.

Keywords: ancient Greek religion; Envy of the Gods



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