100 books like The Derveni Papyrus

By Gábor Betegh,

Here are 100 books that The Derveni Papyrus fans have personally recommended if you like The Derveni Papyrus. Shepherd is a community of 10,000+ authors and super readers sharing their favorite books with the world.

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Book cover of Language of Amarna - Language of Diplomacy: Perspectives on the Amarna Letters

Nataša Pantović Author Of Metaphysics of Sound: In Search of The Name of God

From my list on the ancient Mediterranean classics beyond the usual.

Why am I passionate about this?

Nataša Pantović holds an MSc in Economics and is a Maltese Serbian novelist, adoptive parent, and ancient worlds’ consciousness researcher. Using stories of ancient Greek and Egyptian philosophers and ancient artists she inspires researchers to reach beyond their self-imposed boundaries. In the last five years, she has published 3 historical fiction and 7 non-fiction books with the Ancient Worlds' focus. She speaks English, Serbian, all Balkan Slavic languages, Maltese and Italian. She has also helped build a school in a remote village of Ethiopia, and has since adopted two kids, as a single mum!

Nataša's book list on the ancient Mediterranean classics beyond the usual

Nataša Pantović Why did Nataša love this book?

Better known as Amarna Heresy, a philosophical discussion from Ancient Egypt's Babylon about Monotheism and Trinity written 3,000 years ago. “To the King, My Sun, My God, the Breath of My Life…” This remarkable collection contains requests for gold, offers of marriage, warning of a traitor, and promises of loyalty to the pharaoh – letters of correspondence, all written in Akkadian. The Amorite tribes from Babylonia, form part of this correspondence.

Akhenaten 1378 - 1361 BC, was the first Egyptian ruler in history, who has specifically written about Egyptian Gods, a practice usually kept behind the closed doors of the temples. The deity called Aten inspired such devotion in Pharaoh Akhenaten that he built a new capital city which he named ‘Horizon of the Aten’ (modern Amarna), dedicated to the AΘen. He spoke of a deity with no image, an omnipotent God/goddess that emanates aNX, holy spirits, served by…

By J. Jana Mynarova,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Language of Amarna - Language of Diplomacy as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

It is a generally accepted presumption that during the Late Bronze Age the language accepted for the 'international' or 'diplomatic' written communication between the representatives or members of the particular polities within the Ancient Near East was Akkadian, or more accurately Peripheral Akkadian. Thus it is the aim of this publication to analyze the corpus of Amarna letters on the subject of diplomatic terminology and procedures.


Book cover of Moses and Akhenaten: The Secret History of Egypt at the Time of the Exodus

Nataša Pantović Author Of Metaphysics of Sound: In Search of The Name of God

From my list on the ancient Mediterranean classics beyond the usual.

Why am I passionate about this?

Nataša Pantović holds an MSc in Economics and is a Maltese Serbian novelist, adoptive parent, and ancient worlds’ consciousness researcher. Using stories of ancient Greek and Egyptian philosophers and ancient artists she inspires researchers to reach beyond their self-imposed boundaries. In the last five years, she has published 3 historical fiction and 7 non-fiction books with the Ancient Worlds' focus. She speaks English, Serbian, all Balkan Slavic languages, Maltese and Italian. She has also helped build a school in a remote village of Ethiopia, and has since adopted two kids, as a single mum!

Nataša's book list on the ancient Mediterranean classics beyond the usual

Nataša Pantović Why did Nataša love this book?

A historian, lecturer, researcher, and author, Ahmed Osman is a British Egyptologist born in Cairo who published three books: Stranger in the Valley of the Kings (1987), Moses: Pharaoh of Egypt (1990) and The House of the Messiah (1992) says that Tut-Ankh-Amun had a very similar “story” to Jesus.

The Egyptian Book of the Dead contains the Ancient Egyptian Negative Confessions that were originally written on Temple walls and as the burial texts, and were "I have not stolen...", "I have not killed", etc., a letter written to Gods, engraved on Temples walls and prepared as Papyruses 2,000 BC and were equal to "Thou shalt not", the Ten Commandments of Jewish and Christian ethics, later perceived as divine revelation. The Negative Confession is accompanied by a list of protective sounds and symbols that kept souls safe from demons. Just for the history lovers, the timeline of these is the following:…

By Ahmed Osman,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Moses and Akhenaten as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

During his reign, the Pharaoh Akhenaten was able to abolish the complex pantheon of the ancient Egyptian religion and replace it with a single god, the Aten, who had no image or form. Seizing on the striking similarities between the religious vision of this "heretic" pharaoh and the teachings of Moses, Sigmund Freud was the first to argue that Moses was in fact an Egyptian. Now Ahmed Osman, using recent archaeological discoveries and historical documents, contends that Akhenaten and Moses were one and the same man. In a stunning retelling of the Exodus story, Osman details the events of Moses/Akhenaten's…


Book cover of Inanna, Lady of Largest Heart: Poems of the Sumerian High Priestess Enheduanna

Nataša Pantović Author Of Metaphysics of Sound: In Search of The Name of God

From my list on the ancient Mediterranean classics beyond the usual.

Why am I passionate about this?

Nataša Pantović holds an MSc in Economics and is a Maltese Serbian novelist, adoptive parent, and ancient worlds’ consciousness researcher. Using stories of ancient Greek and Egyptian philosophers and ancient artists she inspires researchers to reach beyond their self-imposed boundaries. In the last five years, she has published 3 historical fiction and 7 non-fiction books with the Ancient Worlds' focus. She speaks English, Serbian, all Balkan Slavic languages, Maltese and Italian. She has also helped build a school in a remote village of Ethiopia, and has since adopted two kids, as a single mum!

Nataša's book list on the ancient Mediterranean classics beyond the usual

Nataša Pantović Why did Nataša love this book?

Scholars have disagreed when written records become literature, yet the earliest literary authors known by name are Ptahhotep (who wrote in Egyptian) and Enheduanna (who wrote in Sumerian), dating to around 2400 BC. Enheduanna is the earliest known Female Poet. She was the High Priestess of the goddess Inanna and the moon god Nanna (Sin). She lived in the Sumerian city-state of Ur in Syria. So this would be my 3rd recommendation for all the researchers of Ancient History.

Enheduanna's contributions to Sumerian literature, include the collection of hymns known as the "Sumerian Temple Hymns", 37 tablets to be exact, from 2,700 BC. The temple hymns were the first collection of their kind, the copying of the hymns indicates that they were used long after and held in very high esteem.

Sīn or Suen (Akkadian: EN.ZU or lord-ess of wisdom) or Nanna was the goddess of the moon in the…

By Betty De Shong Meador,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Inanna, Lady of Largest Heart as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

The earliest known author of written literature was a woman named Enheduanna, who lived in ancient Mesopotamia around 2300 BCE. High Priestess to the moon god Nanna, Enheduanna came to venerate the goddess Inanna above all gods in the Sumerian pantheon. The hymns she wrote to Inanna constitute the earliest written portrayal of an ancient goddess. In their celebration of Enheduanna's relationship with Inanna, they also represent the first existing account of an individual's consciousness of her inner life.

This book provides the complete texts of Enheduanna's hymns to Inanna, skillfully and beautifully rendered by Betty De Shong Meador, who…


Book cover of Φερεκύδης - Θεογονία | Pherecydes - Theogony

Nataša Pantović Author Of Metaphysics of Sound: In Search of The Name of God

From my list on the ancient Mediterranean classics beyond the usual.

Why am I passionate about this?

Nataša Pantović holds an MSc in Economics and is a Maltese Serbian novelist, adoptive parent, and ancient worlds’ consciousness researcher. Using stories of ancient Greek and Egyptian philosophers and ancient artists she inspires researchers to reach beyond their self-imposed boundaries. In the last five years, she has published 3 historical fiction and 7 non-fiction books with the Ancient Worlds' focus. She speaks English, Serbian, all Balkan Slavic languages, Maltese and Italian. She has also helped build a school in a remote village of Ethiopia, and has since adopted two kids, as a single mum!

Nataša's book list on the ancient Mediterranean classics beyond the usual

Nataša Pantović Why did Nataša love this book?

The Ancient Greek manuscript tradition and writing of history usually starts with re-writing myths, mentioning the creation story, or using the collection of myths from the Greek work called the Theogony Θεογονία “Birth of the Gods” attributed to Hesiod 700 BC. It is a long narrative poem compiling Ancient Greek myths. Hesiod describes how the gods were created, their struggles with each other, and the nature of their divine rule. In the Theogony, the origin (arche / aRČe) is Chaos, a primordial condition, a gaping void (abyss), with the beginnings and the ends of the earth, sky, sea, gods, mankind. Symbolically associated with water, it is the source, origin, or root of things that exist. Then came Gaia (Earth), Tartarus (the cave-like space under the earth), and Eros, who becomes the creator of the world.

By Auth Vasileios Kaziltzis,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Φερεκύδης - Θεογονία | Pherecydes - Theogony as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Το παρών βιβλίο περιέχει την μετάφραση μαζί με τα αρχαία αποσπάσματα και αναφορές του Φερεκύδη μέσω τρίτων συγγραφέων αλλά και την Θεογονία του όπως διαμορφώνεται μέσω αυτών. Περιέχει και τις δυο μεταφράσεις απο αρχαία Ελληνικά και Λατινικά στα Ελληνικά και στα Αγγλικά. – This book contains the translation along with the ancient excerpts and references of Pherecydes through third authors but also his Theogony as it is formed through them. It contains both translations from ancient Greek and Latin to Greek and English.


Book cover of Greek Mysteries: The Archaeology of Ancient Greek Secret Cults

Peter Mark Adams Author Of Mystai: Dancing out the Mysteries of Dionysos

From my list on ancient mystery cults.

Why am I passionate about this?

For longer than I can remember I have been fascinated by ancient civilizations, earth mysteries, cave art, magic, mythology, and shamanism. As an author, my research and writing continues to be inspired by these interests. I specialise in the ethnography of sacred landscapes and rituals; and more generally in esotericism, consciousness, and healing. My non-fiction is published by Inner Traditions and Scarlet Imprint; literary prose and poetry by Corbel Stone Press and Paralibrum. My essays on energy healing have appeared in the peer-reviewed Paranthropology Journal and the Journal of Exceptional Experiences and Psychology as well as on my academia.edu page.

Peter's book list on ancient mystery cults

Peter Mark Adams Why did Peter love this book?

Greek Mysteries brings together a collection of essays on a variety of specialist topics related to the ancient mystery cults. Written by some of the world’s leading scholars, many of these essays were originally published in academic journals and are therefore appropriate for a more scholarly readership. That said, this important work provides the perfect entry into contemporary academic scholarship on the mysteries.  

By Michael B. Cosmopoulos (editor),

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Greek Mysteries as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Written by an international team of acknowledged experts, this excellent book studies a wide range of contributions and showcases new research on the archaeology, ritual and history of Greek mystery cults.

With a lack of written evidence that exists for the mysteries, archaeology has proved central to explaining their significance and this volume is key to understanding a phenomenon central to Greek religion and society.


Book cover of The Cosmos in Ancient Greek Religious Experience: Sacred Space, Memory, and Cognition

Giulio Magli Author Of Archaeoastronomy: Introduction to the Science of Stars and Stones

From my list on archaeoastronomy.

Why am I passionate about this?

I started my scientific career as an Astrophysicist. However, I have always been interested in Archaeology. This finally led me to conjugate the two passions when I started working in Archaeoastronomy, in 2003. Working in Archaeoastronomy first means having a direct experience of the sites (preferably, of every single stone, although in places like Giza they count in the millions…). So I have made fieldworks in Italy, Egypt, Cambodia, and, recently, on Chinese imperial necropolises. I currently teach Archaeoastronomy as a professor at the Politecnico of Milan. I have always been interested also in scientific communication on TV and social media, and my introductive Archaeoastronomy course is available for free on the Coursera platform.

Giulio's book list on archaeoastronomy

Giulio Magli Why did Giulio love this book?

The last two books I suggest are of fresh press and testify to the modern approach to archaeoastronomy as a multi-disciplinary science. In this book, the aim is to approach Greek religion as a complex mix of rituals, cults, and architecture, identifying the connections with the sky and, more generally, with the “cosmos”. Relevant examples are discussed in detail. 

By Efrosyni Boutsikas,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked The Cosmos in Ancient Greek Religious Experience as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

In this book, Efrosyni Boutsikas examines ancient Greek religious performances, intricately orchestrated displays comprising topography, architecture, space, cult, and myth. These various elements were unified in a way that integrated the body within cosmic space and made the sacred extraordinary. Boutsikas also explores how natural light or the night-sky may have assisted in intensifying the experience of these rituals, and how they may have determined ancient perceptions of the cosmos. The author's digital and virtual reconstructions of ancient skyscapes and religious structures during such occurrences unveil a deeper understanding of the importance of time and place in religious experience. Boutsikas…


Book cover of Aphrodite's Tortoise: The Veiled Woman of Ancient Greece

David Stuttard Author Of Phoenix: A Father, a Son, and the Rise of Athens

From my list on understanding classical Greece.

Why am I passionate about this?

Ever since my father introduced me to the Greeks, I’ve been passionate about the ancient world and bringing it alive. I read Classics at university and taught for eleven years, during which time I founded the award-winning theatre company, Actors of Dionysus, dedicated to performing Greek drama in translation. A highlight was staging my adaptation of Trojan Women not just in Ephesus Theatre but besides the walls of Troy. From 2010, I’ve divided my time between writing books and articles on wide-ranging classical subjects, editing Bloomsbury Academic Press’ ‘Looking at…’ series on Greek drama (which include my translations), book-reviewing, lecturing, and directing theatrical performances (most recently with Dame Sian Phillips).

David's book list on understanding classical Greece

David Stuttard Why did David love this book?

Fifth-century BC Athenian society was male-dominated, so most of our evidence comes from – and is about – men. Elegantly written, immaculately researched, and pleasingly illustrated, Aphrodite’s Tortoise goes a long way towards restoring the gender balance, uncovering the complex role that women played in Greek society, whether as wives, priestesses or slaves. At the heart of the book is the use of the veil, which not only protected women from the male gaze as they ventured outside (hence the title) but could convey a variety of visual signals depending on how it was worn. It’s a really stimulating book, the kind that makes you sit up and think about not just the ancient world but our own.

By Lloyd Llewellyn Jones,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Aphrodite's Tortoise as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

Greek women routinely wore the veil. That is the unexpected finding of this major study. The Greeks, rightly credited with the invention of civic openness, are revealed as also part of a more eastern tradition of seclusion. From the iconography as well as the literature of Greece, Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones shows that fully veiling of face and head was commonplace. He analyses the elaborate Greek vocabulary for veiling, and explores what the veil was meant to achieve. He also uses Greek and more recent - mainly Islamic - evidence to show how women could exploit and subvert the veil to achieve…


Book cover of Fire from Heaven

Jeanne Reames Author Of Becoming

From my list on Alexander the Great.

Why am I passionate about this?

Dr. Jeanne Reames is a professional historian, college professor, and specialist in ancient Macedonia and Alexander the Great. She also earned a degree in creative writing and has published fiction and poetry. She’s been collecting fiction about Alexander the Great for almost 35 years, and previously managed the website Beyond Renault: Alexander the Great in Fiction since WW I, until retiring it after over ten years. She has (almost) every professionally published English-language novel about Alexander, and has penned several articles on Alexander in fiction, including “Alexander the Great and Hephaistion in Fiction after Stonewall,” for The Routledge Companion to the Reception of Ancient Greek and Roman Sexuality (forthcoming).

Jeanne's book list on Alexander the Great

Jeanne Reames Why did Jeanne love this book?

Any recommendation list of novels about Alexander must include Mary Renault, queen of Greek historical fiction. Fire from Heaven covers his childhood/youth and remains many readers’ initial introduction to him. Her knowledge of Greece, both the land and its history, is rich, and she was first to depict, in a positive way, Alexander’s relationship with Hephaistion as more than friendship. Ironically, the book’s publication coincided with the NYC Stonewall Riots in June of 1969. Yet however progressive her view of homoerotic attachments, she paints a troublingly misogynistic portrait of Alexander’s mother Olympias. The book contains a few errors as several critical archaeological discoveries were 10+ years in the future, but historical novelists can’t be faulted for forthcoming finds. Her second novel about Alexander, The Persian Boy, was published in 1972.

By Mary Renault,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Fire from Heaven as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'The Alexander Trilogy contains some of Renault's finest writing. Lyrical, wise, compelling: the novels are a wonderful imaginative feat - Sarah Waters

Alexander the Great died at the age of thirty-three, leaving behind an empire that stretched from Greece to India. Fire From Heaven tells the story of the years that shaped him. His mother, Olympias, and his father, King Philip of Macedon, fought each other for their son's loyalty, teaching Alexander politics and vengeance. His love for the youth Hephaistion taught him trust, while Aristotle's tutoring provoked his mind and fuelled his aspirations. Killing his first man in battle…


Book cover of Divine Mania: Alteration of Consciousness in Ancient Greece

Marc Wittmann Author Of Altered States of Consciousness: Experiences Out of Time and Self

From my list on the frontier areas of time in psychology and physics.

Why am I passionate about this?

I am a research fellow at the Institute for Frontier Areas of Psychology and Mental Health in Freiburg, Germany. I studied Psychology and Philosophy at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) and Munich (Germany) and have a Ph.D. in Medical Psychology from the Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. Between 2004 and 2009 I was Research Fellow at the Department of Psychiatry, University of California San Diego. My research in the field of Cognitive Neuroscience is focused on the perception of time in ordinary and altered states of consciousness. The investigation concerning the riddle of subjective time as based on the embodied self leads me to answers of what matters most, the nature of our existence as self-conscious beings.

Marc's book list on the frontier areas of time in psychology and physics

Marc Wittmann Why did Marc love this book?

In modern neuroscience there is a resurrection of a line of research on altered states of consciousness. We must not think that this fascination started with Woodstock or Timothy Leary… At all times mind-altering rituals and substances were used. Uptight professors of antiquity hardly spoke of what happened in ancient Greece where mind-altering rituals were part of society for spiritual insight, prophecy, and healing. Yulia Ustinova gives a fascinating account of how in ancient Greece sensory deprivation in caves, often in combination with the practices of fasting or use of psychedelics, induced altered states of consciousness in selected individuals.

By Yulia Ustinova,

Why should I read it?

2 authors picked Divine Mania as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

'Our greatest blessings come to us by way of mania, provided it is given us by divine gift,' - says Socrates in Plato's Phaedrus. Certain forms of alteration of consciousness, considered to be inspired by supernatural forces, were actively sought in ancient Greece. Divine mania comprises a fascinating array of diverse experiences: numerous initiates underwent some kind of alteration of consciousness during mystery rites; sacred officials and inquirers attained revelations in major oracular centres; possession states were actively sought; finally, some thinkers, such as Pythagoras and Socrates, probably practiced manipulation of consciousness. These experiences, which could be voluntary or involuntary,…


Book cover of Captain Corelli's Mandolin

Anastasia Miari Author Of Yiayia: Time-perfected Recipes from Greece's Grandmothers

From my list on to odyssey across Greece with.

Why am I passionate about this?

I’m a food and travel journalist, raised by a Greek father and a British mother. I’ve always been obsessed with the fostering of my Greek culture, heritage, and identity and have been particularly interested in the duality of my two identities, since moving to England from Greece as a young girl. During my teenage years in grey and drizzly England, the food we ate as a family transported me to my grandmothers’ white-washed alleyway, dotted with geraniums and bursting with the colours and flavours of Greece. Since then I’ve become obsessed with what food and time-perfected recipes can tell us about our heritage. 

Anastasia's book list on to odyssey across Greece with

Anastasia Miari Why did Anastasia love this book?

This is a book that still makes me sob, even on the third, fourth, and fifth read.

Louis de Bernieres’ love story set during the second world war on the island of Kefalonia is more than just another beach read. It chronicles the tragedy of the events of the second world war, holding a microscope over the island of Kefalonia and homing in on an imagined love story between Pelagia, a local girl, and Captain Corelli, an Italian soldier stationed on the island as part of the Italian occupation of Greece.

Yes, this is a piece of fiction but I love that also it manages to paint a picture of life under occupation in Greece during the 1940s. De Bernieres captures the light, the scent, the very essence of this Greek island, and the fire of an incredible love affair in his beautiful prose, while also commenting on the atrocities…

By Louis de Bernieres,

Why should I read it?

1 author picked Captain Corelli's Mandolin as one of their favorite books, and they share why you should read it.

What is this book about?

25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION - WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION BY THE AUTHOR

'A true diamond of a novel, glinting with comedy and tragedy' Daily Mail

It is 1941 and Captain Antonio Corelli, a young Italian officer, is posted to the Greek island of Cephallonia as part of the occupying forces. At first he is ostracised by the locals but over time he proves himself to be civilised, humorous - and a consummate musician.

When Pelagia, the local doctor's daughter, finds her letters to her fiance go unanswered, Antonio and Pelagia draw close and the working of the eternal triangle seems inevitable.…


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