Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Walter Burkert (born Neuendettelsau (Bavaria), February 2, 1931), the most eminent living scholar of Greek myth and cult, is an emeritus professor of classics at the University of Zurich, Switzerland who has also taught in the United Kingdom and the United States. He has influenced generations of students of mythology since the 1960s, combining in the modern way, the findings of archaeology and epigraphy with the work of the poets, historians and philosophers. He has published books on the balance between lore and science in the followers of Pythagoras and more extensively on ritual and archaic cult survival, on the ritual killing at the heart of religion, on mystery religions, and on the reception in the Hellenic world of Near Eastern and Persian culture, which sets Greek religion in its wider Aegean and Near Eastern context.
- Homo Necans: The Anthropology of Ancient Greek Sacrificial Ritual and Myth, 1972.
- Structure and History in Greek Mythology and Ritual, Translation, University of California, 1979.
- Ancient Mystery Cults, Harvard University Press, 1987: based on his Jackson Lectures at Harvard, 1982.
- The Orientalizing Revolution: Near Eastern Influence on Greek Culture in the Early Archaic Age, 1998.
- Greek Religion (in German, 1977. Translated, Harvard University Press, 1987 ISBN: 0674362810. This has been widely accepted as a standard work in the field.
- Savage Energies: Lessons of Myth and Ritual in Ancient Greece, 2001.
- Babylon Memphis Persepolis: Eastern contexts of Greek culture, Havard University Press, 2004.
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