This book provides the first systematic study of the role of animals in different areas of the ancient Greek religious experience, including in myth and ritual, the literary and the material evidence, the real and the imaginary.

An international team of renowned contributors shows that animals had a sustained presence not only in the traditionally well-researched cultural practice of blood sacrifice but across the full spectrum of ancient Greek religious beliefs and practices. Animals played a role in divination, epiphany, ritual healing, the setting up of dedications, the writing of binding spells, and the instigation of other ‘magical’ means. Taken together, the individual contributions to this book illustrate that ancient Greek religion constituted a triangular symbolic system encompassing not just gods and humans, but also animals as a third player and point of reference.

Animals in Ancient Greek Religion will be of interest to students and scholars of Greek religion, Greek myth, and ancient religion more broadly, as well as for anyone interested in human/animal relations in the ancient world.

chapter |13 pages

On gods, humans, and animals

ByJ. Kindt

part 1|64 pages


chapter 2|18 pages

Sources for the study of animals in ancient Greek religion

ByI. S. Gilhus

chapter 3|20 pages


The animal in the study of ancient Greek religion
ByE. Kearns

part 2|90 pages


chapter 4|21 pages

Gods and heroes, humans and animals in ancient Greek myth

ByH. Willey

chapter 5|24 pages

The theriomorphism of the major Greek gods 1

ByJ. N. Bremmer

chapter 6|24 pages

Greek anthropomorphism versus Egyptian zoomorphism 1

Conceptual considerations in Greek thought and literature
ByJ. Kindt

chapter 7|19 pages

Philosophers on animals in ancient Greek religion

ByJ. H. Collins

part 3|131 pages

Beliefs and practices

chapter 8|26 pages

Caloric codes

Ancient Greek animal sacrifice
ByF. Graf

chapter 9|20 pages

Animals in ancient Greek divination

Oracles, predictions, and omens
ByJ. Kindt

chapter 10|22 pages

Animals in ancient Greek dedications 1

ByM. Gaifman

chapter 11|21 pages

Animals in Asclepian medicine

Myth, cult, and miracle healings
ByF. Steger, F. Ursin

chapter 12|29 pages

Circe’s Ram 1

Animals in Ancient Greek Magic
ByK. Dosoo

chapter 13|11 pages

Gods, humans, and animals revisited

ByJ. Kindt