The Werewolf in the Ancient World


Product Details

Oxford University Press, USA
Publish Date
6.4 X 9.3 X 1.0 inches | 1.32 pounds

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About the Author

Daniel Ogden comes from Manchester and was educated at the University of Oxford. He is currently Professor of Ancient History at the University of Exeter, having previously taught at Hobart and William Smith Colleges (NY), the University of Oxford, and University College, Swansea. He has published widely on ancient Greek myth, religion, and magic, as well as traditional narratives, reproduction and sexuality, and Alexander the Great and the Hellenistic dynasties.


"Ogden sets out to prove that, in the ancient world, werewolves "inhabited the same conceptual sorcerers, witches, and ghosts," and succeeds admirably." -- Debbie Felton, Religious Studies Review"Ogden characteristically writes with verve, clarity, independent-mindedness and wit, and always displays an impressive breadth and depth of learning â grounded in a genuinely, not just superficially, multilingual study of previous scholarship-any reader who opens the present work can expect a treat." -- Richard Buxton, GNOMON"Summing up, the importance of this work is undeniable: The Werewolf in the Ancient World is destined to become the reference treatise on lycanthropy in antiquity, and it certainly has what it takes to be so - not least, the author's familiarity with scholarly literature in languages other than English." -- Tommaso Braccini, Universita di Siena, ARYS: Antiquity, Religions and Societies"This book is packed full of source material for those who are keen to research more deeply into the phenomenon of werewolves" -- J M Lashley, Cambridge Core"Readers will most certainly find lasting value in the many long translations of primary source materials marshalled in The Werewolf in the Ancient World, which will provide a useful refernce for all future discussions of the ancient and mysterious versipellis." -- Scott Bruce, Bryn Mawr Classical Review"The broad breadth of the book provides Ogden with a plethora of sources to consider, creating a thoroughly researched discussion and a meticulous sourcebook ... The Werewolf in the Ancient World is a rich scholarly resource ... Ogden's writing style is lively and engaging, creating an overall enjoyable and accessible read for scholars, students, and casual readers." -- Julianne Rach, Ancient History Bulletin"Daniel Ogden's fascinating and wide-ranging study of the werewolf from ancient Greece to the Middle Ages also adopts the folklorist approach ... This fast-paced and well-researched book certainly has a broad appeal and will be both a classic study on the topic and a useful collection of ancient sources on werewolves." -- Ivana Petrovic, Greece & Rome"The Greeks had a word for writer-collectors of mirabilia, or wonderful, incredible things; they were known as "paradoxographers." In The Werewolf in the Ancient World Ogden shows himself to be a keen contemporary paradoxographer. Combining detailed analysis of the sources with digressive reveries, he's aiming at "a comprehensive sourcebook" and has hunted across the centuries for buried items of lore, ranging from ancient Greek texts to Christian commentaries on pagan thinkers, then on to the medieval period, with busy digressions on Icelandic sagas, Grimm fairy tales, and Victorian ghost stories. In pursuit of his quarry, Ogden investigates sorcery, shapeshifting, initiation rites, mental derangement, spirit projection, and shamanic night flying, expounding with irrepressible enthusiasm on such things as werewolves' relations with ghosts, vampires, sorcerers, and witches." -- Marina Warner, New York Review of Books"Quite probably the best book that will ever be written on the topic." -- Gail Nina Anderson, The Fortean Times"The Werewolf in the Ancient World represents an immense work of scholarship. It should be praised for not succumbing to the unusually common problem of hyper-fixation on a particular time period, so as to make it appear like the werewolf is not a myth that's existed since antiquity. Rather than focusing only on ancient Greece and Rome, Ogden works to point out how the tropes established by Petronius in the Satyricon repeatedly pop up in medieval and Renaissance era folklore, and even early 20th century works of fiction like Bram Stoker's "Dracula's Guest" (1914) and Guy Endore's "Werewolf of Paris" (1933)." -- Justin Mullis, AIPT