By Ken Dowden, Niall Livingstone
A better half to Greek Mythology provides a sequence of essays that discover the phenomenon of Greek fantasy from its origins in shared Indo-European tale styles and the Greeks’ contacts with their japanese Mediterranean neighbours via its improvement as a shared language and thought-system for the Greco-Roman world.
- Features essays from a prestigious overseas staff 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 sessions in addition to Archaic and Classical Greece
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Extra info for A Companion to Greek Mythology
2) – but there remains a sense that the genealogies that reach down from gods to heroes and from heroes to other heroes might in the end cross that gulf and link aristocrats of today to heroes of the past (Graf 1993a: 128–9). With this the illusion of history is complete and the mythology has now become the history that Greece did not have, neither the history of transmitted written record nor that of archaeology. So if myth has wrapped up oral traditions and masquerades as the history of the world from the beginnings of the gods to the Trojan War and its aftermath, what credence did the Greeks give it?
39 Matrilinearity, certainly. But matriarchy? – the evidence is not there, and the Amazons (Lewis, CH. 23) constitute ideology, male ideology at that, not historical testimonial (Dowden 1997). That is not to say, however, that these myths cannot speak to our own times: Euripides’ Trojan Women can tell us through the power of myth about Iraq or Afghanistan; Amazons can speak archetypally to those concerned with women’s proper place in twenty-first century society – the fact the myth did not mean that to ancient Greeks does not imply that it is illegitimate in a different society to hear a different voice; and issues of race and the relative role of cultures supreme in European education compared with the worlds that Europe has exploited are worth new consideration provided we do not lose our critical instincts.
Even ‘the most Indo-European of Greek poets’ (M. L. West (2007: 15, quoting Calvert Watkins)). For discussion of myth in earlier Greek lyric see, for example, Nagy (2007) and chapters in Parts One and Two of Budelmann (2009). 7. Myth, and Homeric myth in particular, was clearly an important ingredient in the works of the early comic playwright Epicharmos (active in the Syracuse in Sicily in the early fifth century BC), who wrote plays with titles like Odysseus the Deserter, Kyklops, and Sirens, as well as a Prometheus or Pyrrha.
A Companion to Greek Mythology by Ken Dowden, Niall Livingstone