By Jon D. Mikalson
Ancient Greek Religion offers an advent to the elemental ideals, practices, and significant deities of Greek religion.
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Extra info for Ancient Greek Religion (Blackwell Ancient Religions)
Now once one has come so far as to accept the content as scientific, would it not be desired also to find the expression entirely properly and scientifically [wissenschaftlich], and thereby to at least arrive wholly and purely at the side opposed to the poetic view, to which end Heyne stopped halfway? He was really not at all the man to completely carry out a conclusion 28 Historical-critical Introduction to the Philosophy of Mythology or even by way of thought experiment to think it through to its ultimate point.
D Still higher than these specific interpretations would be the explanations that believe they recognize the history of nature in mythology. Indeed, to some it is simply an allegory of that which repeats itself yearly, of the seeming movement of the sun through the signs of the zodiac;e to others it is the poetically presented, actual history of nature, the series of changes and upheavals that have preceded the present, quieted condition of this same nature—a view to which the antagonistic relations of the successive races of the gods, especially the Titans’ struggle against the last of the former, gives the proximate cause.
To the contrary, one was, very generally, unable to find the Indian gods particularly poetic. Goethe’s pronouncements about their lack of form are well known and powerful enough, but not to be called unjust precisely, even if one perhaps wanted to perceive therein an addition of displeasure, in which the strikingly real and doctrinal character [XI 24] of the Indian gods and the alltoo-marked impossibility of applying to them the merely ideal explanations, with which one could reassure oneself in the case of the Greeks, might have some part.