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The Greek Gods in Modern ScholarshipInterpretation and Belief in Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century Germany and Britain$
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Michael D. Konaris

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198737896

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198737896.001.0001

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Stammesgötter and Universal Gods

Stammesgötter and Universal Gods

The Historical-Critical Approach

(p.131) 2 Stammesgötter and Universal Gods
The Greek Gods in Modern Scholarship

Michael D. Konaris

Oxford University Press

The second chapter examines the theory that rather than being associated with specific elements of the natural world, the major Greek gods had originally been conceived as having universal powers and that each was worshipped by a different Greek tribe. This theory had its roots in the work of K.O. Müller (1797–1840) and was further developed by H.D. Müller (1819–93) and E. Curtius (1814–96). The theory of universal gods provided the most important alternative to the physical interpretation of the Greek gods and the rivalry between them was a dominant theme in German scholarship from the 1820s to the 1890s.

Keywords:   universal gods, tribal gods, Jahresgott, Dorian Apollo, Oriental influences on Greece, historicism, Semitic goddess, K.O. Müller, H.D. Müller, E. Curtius

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