Poetry of Goddess Worshipers of the Ancient Mediterranean

This section will include links to a wide range of poetry that is badly neglected by specialists and therefore by general readers.  Obviously Sappho's poetry is the most important example of such poetry but notwithstanding her popularity few people look into the poetry of other goddess worshipers.

To understand how to be informed by but not stuck in the ultimately irretrievable past of goddess worship, and therefore concerned with current and future trends in theology and philosophy, an excellent place to start is Carol P. Christ and Judith Plaskow, Goddess and God in the World: Conversations in Embodied Theology.  For example, those familiar with the trajectory of Heidegger's thought should be especially interested in this.

Much of what I post here presupposes knowledge of Greek or Latin or both. But please do not let that be a barrier to knowledge.  The internet makes it easy to learn languages generally but ancient languages in particular.  For much of this poetry translations are simply not adequate as a means of understanding its significance.

Here is a link to the longest fragment of Empedocles as reconstructed by Richard Janko.

The Empedocles of Clement of Alexandria (fragments that are referred to or quoted by Clement and which therefore are uniquely valuable when read together as a means of appreciating both the significance of Empedocles as a religious figure in his own right but also for understanding how early Christianity drew upon the ancient Greek (pre-Platonic) spiritual tradition.

Now for some Parmenides:

The goddess as governess of the cosmos.

Here is a link to my translation and discussion of a fragment of the poetry of Parmenides that has been all but ignored by modern scholars: Parmenides Fragment 18 (Diels-Kranz numbering).  As you will see (as I hope you do follow the link and the other links contained in my discussion) I think it is arguably the single most important texts to survive from ancient Greece.  

Here is a link to the Latin text of Moretum, an English translation of it and my extensive notes thereto.  Few are familiar with this poem or its importance.  Nevertheless, it happens to be the source of what is arguably the most familiar Latin phrase in the United States: e pluribus unum.

No comments:

Post a Comment