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Richard Seaford is one of the most original and provocative classicists of his age. This volume brings together a wide range of papers written with a single focus. Several are pioneering explorations of the tragic evocation and representation of rites of passage: mystic initiation, the wedding, and death ritual. Two papers focus on the shaping power of mystic initiation in two famous passages in the New Testament. The other key factor in the historical context of tragedy is the recent monetisation of Athens. One paper explores the presence of money in Greek tragedy, another the shaping influence of money on Wagner's Ring and on his Aeschylean model. Other papers reveal the influence of ritual and money on representations of the inner self, and on Greek and Indian philosophy. A final piece finds in Greek tragedy horror at the destructive unlimitedness of money that is still central to our postmodern world.
Richard Seaford is Emeritus Professor of Ancient Greek at the University of Exeter. He is the author of numerous papers and books on ancient Greek texts from Homer to the New Testament, among which are Money and the Early Greek Mind: Homer, Philosophy, Tragedy (Cambridge, 2004) and Cosmology and the Polis: The Social Construction of Space and Time in the Tragedies of Aeschylus (Cambridge, 2012). He has a particular interest in uncovering the relationship between the economy, ritual, philosophy, and drama. He is currently completing a historical comparison of early Greek with early Indian thought. He has been a Fellow of the National Humanities Center (USA), a Distinguished Visiting Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, and Honorary President of the British Classical Association. His research has been funded by the Leverhulme Foundation and the Arts and Humanities Research Council. Rrobert Bostock was awarded a Ph.D. in Classics from the University of Exeter in 2007. He is an Adjunct Associate Lecturer at the University of New England, Australia.