Battling the Gods: Atheism in the Ancient World

Faber & Faber, 02.02.2016 - 300 Seiten

How new is atheism?

In Battling the Gods, Tim Whitmarsh journeys into the ancient Mediterranean to recover the stories of those who first refused the divinities.

Long before the Enlightenment sowed the seeds of disbelief in a deeply Christian Europe, atheism was a matter of serious public debate in the Greek world. But history is written by those who prevail, and the Age of Faith mostly suppressed the lively free-thinking voices of antiquity.

Tim Whitmarsh brings to life the fascinating ideas of Diagoras of Melos, perhaps the first self-professed atheist; Democritus, the first materialist; and Epicurus and his followers. He shows how the early Christians came to define themselves against atheism, and so suppress the philosophy of disbelief.

Battling the Gods is the first book on the origins of the secular values at the heart of the modern state. Authoritative and bold, provocative and humane, it reveals how atheism and doubt, far from being modern phenomena, have intrigued the human imagination for thousands of years.

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LibraryThing Review

Nutzerbericht  - grandpahobo -

This is a very good history of ancient Greek society and the role of mythology. It also extends in the peak of the Roman empire. Unfortunately, there is little about the existence or role of atheism ... Vollständige Rezension lesen

LibraryThing Review

Nutzerbericht  - meandmybooks - LibraryThing

While this was a bit more of a polemic than I'd anticipated – Whitmarsh claims in his Preface that “it is not my aim to prove the truth (or indeed falsehood) of atheism as a philosophical position ... Vollständige Rezension lesen

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Über den Autor (2016)

Tim Whitmarsh will become A. G. Leventis Professor of Greek Culture at the University of Cambridge from October 2014. He has written widely on Greek literature, especially the ancient novel and the Greek writers of the Roman Empire.

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