Book cover for 'Ancient Pathways and Hidden Pursuits'
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Ancient Pathways and Hidden Pursuits

Religion, Morals, and Magic in the Ancient World
Georg Luck
Exploring the psychological motivators of early humans


Among the most thoughtful students of the ancient world, Georg Luck has offered subtle and nuanced interpretations of a broad range of classical subjects. Ancient Pathways, Hidden Pursuits brings together the best of Georg Luck's many papers and articles on Graeco-Roman life and thought in the realm of religious beliefs, occult practices, psychology, and morals. The collection complements Luck's Arcana Mundi, an introduction to magic and the occult in antiquity, which has been published in several languages.

The present volume includes the author's thoughts on Greek and Roman religions, early Christianity, Greek and Roman psychology and morals, and magic and the occult. Luck's main findings explore generally neglected areas of ancient civilization, locating magic and philosophy with religion as vehicles for moral and psychological guidance. Throughout this study, one finds meaning in "superstitious" and conflicting patterns of behavior and learns much about the nature of the human soul. This collection will serve as a valuable reference for those interested in the driving motivations of ancient man.

Georg Luck is Professor of Classics, emeritus, The Johns Hopkins University.

Praise / Awards

  • "The topics of the individual articles in this volume are very central and of great humanistic appeal, and they indeed form a thematic unity concerning man and religion in Greek and Roman society."
    —Ludwig Koenen, Herbert C. Youtie Distinguished University Professor of Papyrology, University of Michigan
  • "Ancient Pathways and Hidden Pursuits rewards efforts with stimulating possibilities by prompting readers to reread sources and to engage in the same patient and careful philological, literary, and historical analysis of sources that Luck does so well. Religion and magic, philosophy and practice, paganism and Christianity are the themes he weaves into a whole, and thus readers are also stimulated to compare Luck's interpretations with those of other scholars."
    —Larry J. Alderink, Concordia College, Journal of Religion, Volume 82, No. 3

Product Details

  • 6 x 9.
  • 328pp.
Available for sale worldwide

  • Hardcover
  • 2000
  • Available
  • 978-0-472-10790-2

Add to Cart
  • $88.00 U.S.