Monsters and Animals in Ancient Culture and Religion

Sian Lewis (Collaborator), Samantha Newington (Editor), Loren Stuckenbruck (Collaborator)

Research output: Book/ReportBook


Non-human and near-human creatures inhabited art, myth and scripture across ancient Mediterranean cultures. This volume assembles a truly interdisciplinary collection of contributions: some treat scriptural texts and some focus on art; some treat individual creatures (the snake, the horse, the crocodile), while others consider animals across the whole of a religious structure. All, however, trace the influence of ideas across Mediterranean cultures, demonstrating diffusion through contact, cultural influence and common patterns of thought.

The contributions are presented in four sections: the first asks what makes an animal sacred, looking at both religious practice and written texts; the second section explores the idea of hybridity, drawing on visual material and exploring the boundaries between animal, monster and human in Greek and Near Eastern religious thought; the third section looks at the topic of the monster in more detail, tackling questions of definition and explaining the role of monstrosity in religious thought, in the Mesopotamian, Assyrian and Greek traditions. The final section collects five synoptic studies of the animal and the monstrous across the Zoroastrian, Biblical, Christian, classical and Quranic traditions.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationLondon
PublisherTaylor & Francis Group
Number of pages272
ISBN (Print)9780815367413
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020


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