This collection of original studies offers new interpretations of some of the best known characters and themes of Greek mythology, reflecting the complexity and fascination of the Greek imagination. Following analyses of the concept of myth and the influence of the Orient on Greek mythology, the succeeding chapters shed new light on the threatening appearance of wolf and werewolf and on such familiar figures as Oedipus, Orpheus and Narcissus. The puzzling relationship of myth and ritual is illuminated by a discussion of the ambiguities in the traditions surrounding Kronos. Where does myth end and history begin? Studies of the first Spartan and Athenian kings demonstrate ways in which myth is manipulated to suit history, and an examination of the early stages of the Delphic oracle shows that some history is actually myth. Finally, an analysis of Greek mythography illustrates how myths were handed down in the Greek tradition before they became part and parcel of Western civilisation. The volume is concluded with a bibliography of the best mythological studies of recent decades. All chapters are based on the most recent insights and methods, and they display a great variety of approaches.
|Status||Published - 1987|