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date: 20 September 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The epics of Homer provide vivid images of a bleak, shadowy afterlife, but, although this is often taken to be the standard Greek vision, it is not the only way in which the ancient Greeks imagined life after death. In many sources, life after death is a lively extension of the life of the living, either a continuation of its activities and social forms, or a compensation for its problems. Varying visions of a lively afterlife appear in sources, starting with the earliest literature, and form the underlying ideology of funerary and other ritual practices in all periods. Such imaginings in the Greek religious tradition provide models of the world as their authors understand it, as well as models (positive or negative) for behaviour within it, whether the afterlife imagined is the simple persistence of a remembered loved one or an elaborate vision of the workings of the cosmos.

Keywords: afterlife, cosmos, life, death, funerary, rituals, ideology

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