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  • Mystery Cults in the Ancient World

  • Written by: Hugh Bowden
  • Narrated by: Bruce Mann
  • Length: 7 hrs and 56 mins

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Mystery Cults in the Ancient World

Written by: Hugh Bowden
Narrated by: Bruce Mann
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Publisher's Summary

Mystery cults are one of the most intriguing areas of Greek and Roman religion. In the nocturnal mysteries at Eleusis, participants dramatically reenacted the story of Demeter's loss and recovery of her daughter Persephone; in the Bacchic cult, bands of women ran wild in the Greek countryside to honor Dionysus; in the mysteries of Mithras, men came to understand the nature of the universe and their place within it through frightening initiation ceremonies and astrological teachings.

These cults were an important part of life in the ancient Mediterranean world, but their actual practices were shrouded in secrecy. Mystery Cults in the Ancient World makes plentiful use of artistic and archaeological evidence, as well as ancient literature and epigraphy, to reconstruct the sacred rituals and explore their origins. Greek painted pottery, Roman frescoes, inscribed gold tablets from Greek and Southern Italian tombs, and the excavated sites of religious sanctuaries all contribute to our understanding of ancient mystery cults. Not only is this clearly written book a significant contribution to the study of these cults, it is also accessible to a general audience. More than any other book on ancient religion, it allows the listener to understand what it was like to participate in these life-altering religious events.

©2010, 2023 Thames & Hudson Ltd, London; Text copright 2010 by Hugh Bowden (P)2024 Tantor

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