“A milestone, not only in the field of classics but in the wider field of the history of religion It will find a place alongside the works of Jane Ellen Harrison. Homo Necans has 99 ratings and 5 reviews. David said: What is it about animal sacrifice that makes otherwise staid European scholars and experts on go ap. Burkert, Walter: Homo Necans: The Anthropology of Ancient Greek Sacrificial Ritual and Myth. University of California Press, , pbk. pp.

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The Bourgeois Experience Victoria to Freud. At the same time, it has relegated death to the fringes of existence and though Necasn research on Greek sacrifice. In Structure and History Burkert’s theoretical concerns are larger, including both myth and ritual.

At least with cows and sheep and goats we can tell ourselves we’re doing it for the fleece or milk, etc.

Andrew rated it really liked it Jan 24, Sign in via your Institution Sign in. To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above. Alan rated it it was amazing Jan 13, He thinks ritual is older than myth, because it is a form of behavior found even in animals.

Burkert’s core thesis is that when paleolithic man became a hunterin spite of the generally omnivorous orientation of the great apeslack of a predator instinct was made up for by turning patterns of intra-species aggression against the prey: Burkert ndcans particular attention to psychological causation and the biological roots of human behavior as revealed by the science of ethology.

Homo Necans

Blood sacrifice, the ritual slaughter of animals, has been basic to religion through history, so that it survives in spiritualized form even in Hoom. Stefan Reyes rated it it was amazing Dec 05, Close mobile search navigation Article navigation. Jul 24, David rated it liked it. He draws some evidence from Egypt, Mesopotamia, Anatolia, and the Bible, but focuses primarily on ancient Greece, his area of expertise.


Nevertheless, ritual and myth share several important features: Daphne rated it liked it Jul 02, Sign In or Create an Account. He is the leading active scholar of the religion of early and classical Greece. But it was a difficult book to read. Kimberly Chandler rated it liked it Feb 07, He examines various cult-complexes in detail, confronting “sacrificial ritual with its tension between encountering death and affirming life, its external form consisting of preparations, a frightening central moment, and restitution”, [2] and affirming in detail the initial hypothesis.

Jul 05, Melissa rated it really liked it. Amanda rated it it was amazing Apr 13, Collecting together various myths and worship sites, he convincingly shows how they derive from these ancient sacrificial rites, even if no animals that we know of were actually sacrificed.

This stuff is disturbing as it dovetails with the “killer ape” theory of human evolution that is just pure and unadulterated myth – but it’s also worth reading because it does have a lot of fascinating material.

Homo Necans by Walter Burkert – Paperback – University of California Press

Anna rated it it was amazing Jul 09, Jan 08, Mac rated it really liked it. Views Read Edit View history.

Westin Journal of Hellenic Studiesremarked that the book was “an exceptional intellectual experience”. You could not be signed in. Burkert suggests that this necessary, aggressive behavior gave rise to anxiety, but through the practice of sacrifice the unavoidable aggression, which otherwise threatened to destroy society, was redirected to its promotion instead.


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Homo Necans: The Anthropology of Ancient Greek Sacrificial Ritual and Myth by Walter Burkert

The prose is quite dense, however interesting the content, making hmo hard to read long stretches at a time. Burkert’s thesis is that sacrifice comes out of rituals from the earliest hominid hunters, perhaps homk before language arose.

This is also why we feel most ambivalent about pork, incidentally: By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. In a first attempt at applying ethology to religious history[1] Burkert confronts the power and effect of tradition in uncovering traces of ancient hunting rituals so motivated in historical animal sacrifice and human sacrifice by his thesis unified as deriving from the same fundamental principle in specific historical Greek rituals with relevance necaans human religious behaviour in general.

So much about the ancient Greeks relates well to the modern world: Trivia About Homo Necans: Thus, the animal hunted by ancient man automatically acquired aspects of an equal, as if it were of one nrcans the hunter’s relations. Purchase Subscription prices and ordering Short-term Access To purchase short term access, please sign in to your Oxford Academic account above. Emily Lin rated it did not like it Sep 27,