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The Ancient City: A Study of the Religion, Laws, and Institutions of Greece and Rome
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Return to Book Page. With this influential study, French historian Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges initiated a new approach to Greek and Roman city organization. The result is a fresh, accurate, and detailed portrait of the religious, f With this influential study, French historian Numa Denis Fustel de Coulanges initiated a new approach to Greek and Roman city organization.
The result is a fresh, accurate, and detailed portrait of the religious, family, and civic life of Periclean Athens and Rome during the time of Cicero.
This fascinating sociological account reveals the significance fusstel kinship and the cult of the family hearth and ancestors to ancient Hellenic and Latin urban culture. It chronicles atiga rise of family-centered pagan belief systems, tracing their gradual decline to the spread of Christianity.
FUSTEL – Definition and synonyms of fustel in the Portuguese dictionary
Ckdade cites ancient Indian and Hebrew texts as well as Greek and Roman sources. The ingenuity of his interpretations, along with his striking prose style, offer readers a vital and enduring historic survey. Paperbackpages. Published October 27th by Dover Publications first published March 1st To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
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One simply cannot, in my opinion, understand anything about the history and origins of religion — and of society for the primitive social unit, the family, is primarily a religious unit — without a thorough mastery of this book.
In this context, a study of Frazer’s The Golden Bough is also essential: Ouais, du travail des esclaves? View all 6 comments. Nov 29, D.
You wouldn’t think a book about the religious system of early Greeks and Romans and how it related to government would be so interesting. Fustel has an interesting thesis. According to him we tend to romanticize the Greeks and Romans along rationalist lines, while fudtel the fact that not only were the mass of them following ancient religions, those religions were the basis of their laws.
It was only the upheaval of the primitive religions that created what we see as the classical pagan state You wouldn’t think a book about the religious system of early Greeks and Romans and how it related to government would be so interesting. It was only the upheaval of the primitive religions that created what we see as the classical pagan state, and we can’t understand it without understanding some of that religious belief.
He then goes on to document that belief and how it intersected with law, and it’s incredibly fascinating. The earliest belief was about how the soul was still tied to its body after death. This sparked the idea of private property, since you couldn’t easily move the dead, and each family had obligations to placate their dead through offerings or risk them turning malignant.
The early religious idea of worshiping the family’s gods was the basis not only for marriage, but reproducing, since only the male heir of the father could continue to uphold the rites. It’s very detailed and interesting, because it’s such an alien anntiga. He then goes on to show how successive governments enshrined the old religion, and over time dethroned each of its axioms.
The book ends with the introduction of Christianity. It’s engrossing despite an arcane subject, and even now you can see elements of the old cidadd in us. Putting flowers on top of fustl grave today is eerily close to the old offerings of food to the dead back then, and he compares the old, local gods of then to the near-worship of Catholic saints by some fuustel. I can’t say how accurate his ideas are, but I can say that it’s definitely a great read for a religiously-minded lover of history.
I’m not even all that interested in Greek or Roman history but I enjoyed the book very much. Jun 06, Jim Whitefield rated it really liked it. This very detailed, yet easy to read, well translated work explaining the evolvement of religious beliefs and rites, along with political changes, in Greece and Rome and Indiais most interesting.
I was fascinated by the devotion of family daily dedication to keeping sacred fire alight on an altar in each home. Such personal religious activity was time consuming and extensive. Relationships between the living and the dead were very real and woe-betide the man who did not have a son to look af This very detailed, yet easy to read, well translated work explaining the evolvement of religious beliefs and rites, along with political changes, in Greece and Rome and Indiais most interesting.
Relationships between the living and the dead were very real and woe-betide the man who did not have a son to look after him after he was dead. Thus a male dominated society evolved and women could not inherit. The book covers several centuries and we see the changes as they evolved in the religious and political scene over the years.
We learn how eventually Rome acquired empire. It is an area I had not studied previously so I found it educational; at the same time, concise and entertaining. The language is quaint and this adds to the read. Orators were little heard there, and there was little discussion. More generally there was simply a vote of yes or vustel, and a count of cirade votes.
Such were the characteristic traits of the Greek and Italian cities during the first period of their history. Man no longer offered God food and drink.
Prayer was no longer rustel form of incantation; cidadw was an act of faith and a humble petition. The soul sustained another relation with the divinity; the fear of the gods was replaced by cudade love of God. Christianity introduced other new ideas. It was not the domestic religion of any family, the national religion of any city, or of any race. It belonged neither to a caste nor to a corporation.
From its first appearance it called to itself the whole human race. If this area of history interests you, then I think you would enjoy this work very much. It seems quite unique. There are extensive footnotes and references for further study. Este libro es una maravilla. Lo capta bien el autor cuando se pregunta: Fusteel Coulanges seguramente fue un gran profesor y sus alumnos unos privilegiados de escucharlo.
I would give this book 6 or 7 stars if I could, but on Goodreads we are limited to 5, so 5 it is. This is a great exposition of the religious beliefs of the ancient Greeks and Romans and how that shaped the way they lived, their ideas, their government, and the culture they developed. When we think of Greek and Roman religion, we immediately think cidaxe gods like Zeus, Cidaxe, Apollo, and Venus and such, but de Coulanges goes even further back than that, to the domestic gods that were the dead ance I fustep give this book 6 or 7 stars if I could, but on Goodreads we are limited to 5, so 5 it is.
When we think of Greek and Roman religion, we immediately think of gods like Zeus, Athena, Apollo, and Venus and such, but de Coulanges goes even further back than antiiga, to the domestic gods that were the dead ancestors of each family, and that protected only that family and their property so long as the living members of the family faithfully carried out the proper rites and sacrifices and owned the property on which their tombs were located. Ciddade, this ancestor worship was a religion cidadw ancient Greeks and Romans shared with the Hindus and dates back to their common roots before the different groups diverged and migrated out to India and to Europe.
As their beliefs and worldview changed, so did Greco-Roman culture change, giving rise to the Greek and Italian city states that later consolidated into the Roman Empire. In the last chapter, de Coulanges provides a brief outline of how radically Christianity changed the culture and outlook of the Roman Empire and why it brought an end to the ancient conception cidzde the city.
This book is invaluable for those with an interest in the history of ancient Greece and Rome, those who are planning to read the classics and want to understand the mindset of the authors better, and those who want to see how a religion, or cultuscan shape the culture and civilization of a people.
De Coulanges’s purpose in writing it was to show how different the worldview of the ancient Greeks and Romans was from our own, to prevent the common mistake of believing the ancients to be too much like ourselves. Mar 30, Daniel Polansky added it Shelves: This one was pretty fascinating, actually. The essential idea is that no one living in the modern age although actually the book was written cixade the 19th century can adequately understand the thinking of the citizens of early Classic Greece and Rome, whose lives were entirely structured around a very primitive form of Indo-Aryan ancestor worship.
A Cidade Antiga
To Coulanges’s mind, every facet of early Classical civilization needs to be explained from this fundamental core, that is to say according to sort of This one xntiga pretty fascinating, actually. Cifade Coulanges’s mind, every facet of early Classical civilization needs to be explained from this fundamental core, that is to say according to sort of magical thinking about the ability of the dead to bless or curse their descendants, and a reverence for the hearh and home which is in no way symbolic but entirely concrete.
All the duties and responsibilities of the citizen grew out of the initial concept of this priesthood, in which the male head of the household is the only person capable of performing the obeisances and sacrifices required to satisfy the dead.
It’s hard going but extremlely interesting, and to my very limited knowledge of that period of history, seems coherent, but to be blunt I am nowhere near sufficiently versed in Antoga theory to know if it is still held in high regard. Anyone want to help me out on this? Remarkably well-argued cultural history of the Greco-Roman world.
I really wished that there were notes placing the author’s interpretations in the context of subsequent archaeological findings, since the breadth of his citations was really impressive, but ultimately his thesis that the cultural organization of Greek and Roman comes from prehistoric ancestor worship comes from a slim antiiga of sources. Still, a convincing tale of the transformation of the city-state into the nation-state. This book really changed my opinion, its thesis being that the ancients weren’t “like” us, as people in the 19th century liked to believe, but more like the Brahmans of India before the Europeans arrived in force.
An original scholar with a lot to say, much detailed information. Sep 13, Greg Watson rated it it was amazing Shelves: It’s hard to appreciate the radical nature of Christianity without the knowledge this book provides. Through an in-depth study of mostly Greek and Roman classics, the author shows that ancient religion was tied to the family and the state.
Individuality was absorbed into the household gods, sacred fire, secret prayers, and other elements of a family faith, based on ancestor worship.
A Cidade Antiga – Fustel de Coulanges | Jorge Alexandre A Dias –
Land could not be willed or sold, but was simply passed on to male heirs, who were obligated to continue the famil It’s hard to appreciate the radical nature of Christianity without the knowledge this book provides. Land could not be willed or sold, but was simply passed on to male heirs, who were obligated to continue the family worship. Citizenship in a city was only realized within the family.
Gradually, the laws were weakened, so that wealth rather than religion came to define individual identity and civic life. The idea of individual conscience, and the concept of ffustel not belonging to any state existed in the Stoic philosophy.