"Imagining the Underworld: Life after Death in Ancient Greek Religion"

April 15, 2019 - 4:30 pm
Photo of an ancient Greek urn decorated with illustrations of mythological scenes

How did the ancient Greeks imagine the underworld? Their depictions of the life after death reveal the variety of conflicting ideas in the Greek tradition, from the continuative existences after death that preserve cultural memories to the compensatory afterlives that rectify the incompleteness of justice in the mortal world to the grand cosmic visions that bring together life and death, mortal and immortal, chthonic and celestial, into a single system. All these imaginings of afterlife make use of familiar tropes, names and images from the Greek mythic tradition, and each of the authors of an afterlife vision thinks with and through an imagined underworld in different ways for different ends.

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Laurie Canter
(413) 542-2189
image of e-mail address@amherst.edu