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Oracles, Curses, and Risk Among the Ancient Greeks
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Oracles, Curses, and Risk Among the Ancient Greeks

Esther Eidinow

Abstract

In this book, question tablets from the oracle at Dodona are set side-by-side with curse tablets (katadesmoi or defixiones) from across the Ancient Greek world (for the period 6th-1st centuries BCE). It explores what these texts reveal about perceptions of and responses to the uncertain future, and the nature of risk among ordinary Greek men and women, as well as the insights they afford into civic institutions and activities, and social dynamics. The author follows the anthropologist Mary Douglas in defining ‘risk’ as socially constructed, in contrast to other ancient historians, who treat ri ... More

Keywords: Ancient Greeks, question tablets, Dodona, oracle, curse tablets, anthropology, risk

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2007 Print ISBN-13: 9780199277780
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199277780.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Esther Eidinow, author
Freelance writer, and Research Fellow at The James Martin Institute, Oxford University
Author Webpage

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