This is an engaging introduction which explores the latest thinking about Classical mythology, the history of interpreting myths and the role of myths in cultural tradition, from painting to opera, philosophy, politics, drama, and religion in the modern day. It answers such questions as what are ancient myths and who invented them where do gods come from what makes a hero how is Classical myth used in the modern world and what approaches are there to the study of myth? Featuring further reading and case studies from antiquity to the modern day, this is an essential introduction to the myths which have been a fundamental part of Western culture throughout history.
List of Illustrations Preface Chapter 1: Stories that stay Myth as Speech Myth and community traditions Myth and belief The range of tradition Rejecting myth Rationalizing myth Allegorizing myth How we get myth The sources--a brief chronological list Further reading Chapter 2: Talking of Gods Origin stories Hesiod’s Theogony Other origin myths Where gods come from What are gods good for? Further reading Chapter 3: Heroic dimensions Hero: the ancient idea Heroes in Homer and Hesiod Heroines Heroic quests and their meaning Hero patterns Heracles Hero as politician Heroine as athlete Further reading Chapter 4: Interpreting myths--symbols and societies Myths as symbols: Greeks to Romantics Myths as symbols: Freud, Jung, and others Myths and society: early forerunners Myths and society: the role of ritual Myths and society: functionalists and structuralists Further reading Chapter 5: Myths, media, memories Roman reception of myth Mythic media, from ancient to modern Prose Poetry Drama Music Dance Visual art Film Comics, graphic novels, video games Further reading Index
Richard Martin is Professor in Classics at Stanford University and has twenty-five years' experience in teaching an introduction to Classical Mythology to undergraduate students. He is widely published on Homer, Hesiod, Pindar, Aristophanes,Theognis, and other ancient authors and genres in which mythic narration figures prominently.
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