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Mythology in Bits

Tim Whitmarsh: Ancient Greek ‘Religion’, 20 December 2018

The Oxford Handbook of Ancient Greek Religion 
edited by Esther Eidinow and Julia Kindt.
Oxford, 736 pp., £30, December 2017, 978 0 19 881017 9
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... These days​ , thanks to Google Books, it is possible to find out when people started paying attention to ‘Greek religion’. The phrase first appeared in print in English in 1654; it became more common in the middle of the 18th century, and reached a peak of popularity in the 19th. This is of course a crude index (and the picture is subtly different in other European languages), but it’s a reminder that, whatever its deeper roots, religion as a concept is largely an Enlightenment invention ...

Ruthless and Truthless

Ferdinand Mount: Rotten Government, 6 May 2021

The Assault on Truth: Boris Johnson, Donald Trump and the Emergence of a New Moral Barbarism 
by Peter Oborne.
Simon and Schuster, 192 pp., £12.99, February, 978 1 3985 0100 3
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Political Advice: Past, Present and Future 
edited by Colin Kidd and Jacqueline Rose.
I.B. Tauris, 240 pp., £21.99, February, 978 1 83860 120 1
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... sons of Edward IV were bastards, declares that ‘ye matter should be touched a slope craftily.’ Esther Eidinow describes the way Pericles and other Greek leaders, though themselves lacking in superstition, used divination and the local oracle in order to build consensus and authority around their decisions.For Nietzsche, lying isn’t a desperate ...

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