This book makes a strong case for the importance of religious practices in Classical Athens, showing how thoroughly ritual was integrated into the city's democratic institutions and civic life. To this end Nancy Evans takes an in depth look at the cults of Athena, Demeter and Dionysus and the festivals and games associated with them. Writing for the general reader as well as the scholar, she reconstructs the rhythms of Athenian life and the omnipresence of ritual, sacrifice and incantation in both public and private spheres. Building on this picture of the broad institutional importance of religion, she goes on to provide detail of the religious backdrop to many of the key events of the Athenian Classical age, including Alcibiades' profaning of the Eleusinian Mysteries, and most notoriously, the trial of Socrates.
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