Book Reviews

Book Reviews BOOK REVIEWS WALTER PÖTSCHER, Aspekte und Probleme der minoischen Religion. Ein Versuch (Religionswissenschaftliche Texte und Studien, Band 4) Hildesheim- Zürich-New York: Georg Olms Verlag 1990 (VIII + 288 p.) ISBN 3-487-09359-6, DM 98.00 The interpretation of Minoan religion is notoriously difficult: given the lack of intelligible texts, scholars rely on mainly iconographical evidence; the correct assessment of images from a foreign culture is tricky even for the specialist. Analogies from other cultures may be called in, and so may theories about early religion-but the help could prove a trap and is not well received today: it has become increasingly clear how much Arthur Evans' concept of Minoan religion owed to the Cambridge Ritualists. Thus, a non-archaeologist who ventures into this maze may seem audacious; Professor Potscher's book will have to brave engrained iconographists. It proceeds in three steps. Part I discusses isolated objects-the well known double axes, bull horns ("horns of consecra- tion") and heads, trees and twigs, pillars, columns, birds and snakes (pp. 17-107). P. understands them as "Erscheinungsform" of a divinity, be it the (or a) female or the/a male god-the indecision in the articles arises from P.s stance in the question of Minoan polytheism: it http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Numen Brill

Book Reviews

Numen, Volume 39 (2): 261 – Jan 1, 1992

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 1992 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
0029-5973
eISSN
1568-5276
DOI
10.1163/156852792X00122
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

BOOK REVIEWS WALTER PÖTSCHER, Aspekte und Probleme der minoischen Religion. Ein Versuch (Religionswissenschaftliche Texte und Studien, Band 4) Hildesheim- Zürich-New York: Georg Olms Verlag 1990 (VIII + 288 p.) ISBN 3-487-09359-6, DM 98.00 The interpretation of Minoan religion is notoriously difficult: given the lack of intelligible texts, scholars rely on mainly iconographical evidence; the correct assessment of images from a foreign culture is tricky even for the specialist. Analogies from other cultures may be called in, and so may theories about early religion-but the help could prove a trap and is not well received today: it has become increasingly clear how much Arthur Evans' concept of Minoan religion owed to the Cambridge Ritualists. Thus, a non-archaeologist who ventures into this maze may seem audacious; Professor Potscher's book will have to brave engrained iconographists. It proceeds in three steps. Part I discusses isolated objects-the well known double axes, bull horns ("horns of consecra- tion") and heads, trees and twigs, pillars, columns, birds and snakes (pp. 17-107). P. understands them as "Erscheinungsform" of a divinity, be it the (or a) female or the/a male god-the indecision in the articles arises from P.s stance in the question of Minoan polytheism: it

Journal

NumenBrill

Published: Jan 1, 1992

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