Otto, Walter F. - The Homeric Gods
An exciting and unsurpassed reconstruction of the Greek religious universe, this book wisely brings the reader closer to the figures of the Olympic religion - and to their peculiar way of manifesting themselves - following a double path: on the one hand, Otto examines the cult of the twelve Olympic gods (focusing first of all on Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Aphrodite, Hermes), on the other hand presents them to us as beings who, thanks to their divine epiphanies - so different yet so subtly connected to each other -, live an inexhaustible life, complete in itself. And his prose is admirable when confronted with the most enigmatic of the divinities, as in the famous portrait of Hermes, where Otto's style appears to us in all its evocative clarity: high and at the same time capable of filtering an impeccable doctrine - and of to speak of the gods in a way that his subjects certainly would not find inappropriate. The resulting representation of the Homeric religion - "ever-living awareness of the proximity of the divine", "pure form of the world", space of knowledge and light - has been a model for entire generations of scholars of which Otto was the teacher, first of all Karl Kernyi, and was no less present to those who have always looked at him - as in Heidegger's case - as an enlightened interpreter of the past. The Gods of Greece came out for the first time in 1929. This edition is enriched by an unpublished essay on Zeus, the supreme divinity who still lacked appeal in the original German text - a text that thus reaches its definitive completeness in this version.