Religion in the Ancient Mediterranean World

Religion in the Ancient Mediterranean World

DVD - 2005
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How did ancient people cope with the overwhelming mystery of the universe-where the cycles of nature keep predictable time with the sun, moon, and stars; yet where crops can fail, disease can strike, storms can ravage, and empires can fall without warning? In the region surrounding the Mediterranean Sea, they responded with a rich variety of religious beliefs that have provided some of Western civilization's most powerful texts: the Mesopotamian Epic of Gilgamesh, the Hebrew Bible, the Greek epics of Homer, Ovid's Metamorphoses, and the New Testament, among many others. Composed largely of stories of human interaction with the divine, these narratives gave ordinary people a window into the unfathomable realm of the sacred. People also responded with a complex array of religious rituals that survive in the archaeological remains of temples, cultic statues, funerary goods, and household devotional items-artifacts that are among the world's greatest cultural treasures. In these 48 lectures, Professor Glenn S. Holland uses such textual and archaeological evidence to explore the religious cultures of the ancient Mediterranean world, from the earliest indications of human religious practices during prehistoric times to the conversion of the Roman Empire to Christianity in the 4th century of the Common Era. You will be introduced to the religious traditions of a wide range of civilizations, including the ancient kingdom of Egypt; ancient Mesopotamia; ancient Syria-Palestine, including Israel and Judah; Minoan civilization on the island of Crete and the successive civilizations of the Greek mainland; and the city of Rome, whose empire dominated the entire Mediterranean world at the end of the ancient era. Ancient Roots of Our Culture These civilizations are the source of much of our own religious heritage, and each gave rise to a remarkable body of stories, beliefs, and traditions that have had wide-ranging and sometimes surprising influences. For example: The Egyptian goddess Isis came closer to becoming the central deity of a worldwide religion than any other traditional god or goddess of the ancient Mediterranean world. In Christianity, Jesus' mother Mary was credited with many of the beneficent qualities of Isis, particularly mercy and the special intercessory role for those who were her devotees. Perhaps the best-known example of cross-cultural influence among ancient religions is the account of the universal flood, which appears in the celebrated story of Noah in the Hebrew Bible, and also in Mesopotamian and Greek versions. Professor Holland brings both a historian's and a literary critic's perspective to this fascinating subject. His emphasis is not only on the rituals and mythology of a civilization's official religious culture, but also on the beliefs, practices, and yearnings of the common person.
Publisher: Chantilly, Va. : Teaching Company, [2005]
Copyright Date: ©2005
ISBN: 9781598030358
1598030353
Branch Call Number: DVD 200.93 HOL
Characteristics: 8 videodiscs :,sound, color ;,4 3/4 in. +,1 book.
Additional Contributors: Teaching Company

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