Download e-book for kindle: A Companion to Greek Mythology by Ken Dowden, Niall Livingstone

By Ken Dowden, Niall Livingstone

ISBN-10: 140511178X

ISBN-13: 9781405111782

A significant other to Greek Mythology provides a sequence of essays that discover the phenomenon of Greek delusion from its origins in shared Indo-European tale styles and the Greeks’ contacts with their jap Mediterranean neighbours via its improvement as a shared language and thought-system for the Greco-Roman world.

  • Features essays from a prestigious foreign workforce of literary experts
  • Includes insurance of Greek myth’s intersection with background, philosophy and religion
  • Introduces readers to subject matters in mythology which are frequently inaccessible to non-specialists
  • Addresses the Hellenistic and Roman classes in addition to Archaic and Classical Greece

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These are family stories; we may remind each other of them, take pride in them, derive solidarity from them, occasionally debate which is the authentic version, but we do not need to be told them. Where the Iliad and Odyssey mark a seam or caesura between the heroic then and the everyday now, in Pindar’s songs there is no such seam: the world of myth is superimposed on the world of the victorious athletes and other great figures whose achievements he celebrates. To say that the world of myth is familiar is not, of course, to say that it is ordinary: it has a magical glamour akin to that of the golden Sparta of Menelaos and Helen in the Odyssey.

Metis becomes the Intelligence of Zeus, and Zeus himself gives birth to Athene (Hesiod, Theogony 886–900; F 343 MW, F 294 Most). In the case of Rome and Greece, though, what is swallowed is not so much intelligence as memory. The consequence is that Greek myth in Roman literature and culture has an added dimension, another level of potential mythic remoteness to be exploited, becoming a kind of ‘myth squared’. The virtual world of myth is mediated by the additional virtual world of its Greek landscape and cultural contexts.

Lévi-Strauss and Eribon (1998: 107). 32. Frye (1957, 1963). 33. Cf. Durand (1992: 35–7). 34. For example, Jung and Kerényi (1951). 35. See Kerényi (1976a, 1976b). 36. See the ingenious solution of Sauzeau (2010). 37. Dowden (forthcoming). ‘Fact and fiction in the New Mythology: 100 BC–AD 100’, in J. R. Morgan, I. Repath (eds), ‘Where the Truth Lies’: Lies and Metafiction in Ancient Literature, Groningen. 38. See Borg (2004), in which several essays are of interest to the student of mythology. 39.

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A Companion to Greek Mythology by Ken Dowden, Niall Livingstone


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