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The extraordinary discovery of the Underworld of the ancient Greeks. We tend to think of ancient stories of visits to the Underworld by Odysseus, Orpheus and Aeneas as being poetic fictions, but Robert Temple shows here that in fact, the Ancients believed the Underworld to be a place that actually existed. It was maintained by a college of priests who would prepare, through ritual fasting, prayer, animal sacrifice, bathing and solitude, whoever wished to meet the shades of the dead. The candidate would then be led through the entrance to the Underworld, a dark, terrifying place, far underground, where after a series of ordeals and apparitions, they would finally meet with the ghosts of the dead. All these features recur in the ancient stories. Recently Robert Temple heard that a 1962 archaeological expedition had actually discovered the entrance in Italy.This is the amazing story of what he found when he was finally allowed to make his own descent into the Underworld a€“ the River Styx, false doors, a snake pit and carved invocations to the Goddess of the Underworld, all revealed for the first time since ancient times.Philostratus, The Life of Apollonius of Tyana, Book II, x, trans F. C. Conybeare, Loeb Classical Library, Vol. I, pp. 139-41. 18. Fontenrose ... See The Sirius Mystery, Chapter 5, and maps and charts of oracle centres. 20. Wide, Sam, a#39;Eine Lokaleanbsp;...

Author:Robert K. G. Temple
Publisher:Vintage - 2002-01-01


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