Greek Mythology: An Introduction / Edition 1

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Overview

This revised translation of Fritz Graf's highly acclaimed introduction to Greek mythology offers a chronological account of the principal Greek myths that appear in the surviving literary and artistic sources and concurrently documents the history of interpretation of Greek mythology from the 17th century to the present. First surveying the various definitions of myth that have been advanced, Graf proceeds to examine topics such as the relationship between Greek myths and epic poetry, the connection between particular myths and shrines or holy festivals, the use of myth in Greek song and tragedy, and the uses and interpretations of myth by philosophers and allegorists.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Editorial Reviews

Times Literary Supplement
Graf's Greek Mythology immediately established itself, when it was first published in German in 1985, as the best introduction then available. Historical in three senses—a brief history of theories of myth, a view of the historically changing roles of myth, a sense of the processes of inventing, forgetting, and renewing myth—the book's strength lies in its combining an understanding of myth as essentially narrative, with an appreciation of the issue of authorship... This is a new edition, with footnotes, numerous minor alterations to the text, and a thoroughly updated bibliography.
Bryn Mawr Classical Review - Lowell Edmunds
The best general introduction to Greek mythology in English.
New England Classical Newsletter and Journal - Paul Properzio
Full of compelling insights... A superior work on Greek mythology done by a first-rate scholar.
Times Literary Supplement

Graf's Greek Mythology immediately established itself, when it was first published in German in 1985, as the best introduction then available. Historical in three senses -- a brief history of theories of myth, a view of the historically changing roles of myth, a sense of the processes of inventing, forgetting, and renewing myth -- the book's strength lies in its combining an understanding of myth as essentially narrative, with an appreciation of the issue of authorship... This is a new edition, with footnotes, numerous minor alterations to the text, and a thoroughly updated bibliography.

Booknews
This revised translation of Graf's popular German text offers a chronological account of principal Greek myths appearing in surviving literary and artistic sources. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
From Barnes & Noble
This revised translation of the acclaimed work first published in German offers a chronological account of the principal Greek myths while it documents the history of interpretation of Greek mythology from the 17th century to the present. B&W photos & illus.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780801853951
  • Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
  • Publication date: 5/28/1996
  • Edition description: English Language Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 240
  • Sales rank: 546,925
  • Product dimensions: 5.59 (w) x 8.51 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

Fritz Graf is professor of philology in the Seminar for Classical Philology at the University of Basel in Switzerland. Thomas Marier is in the Department of Classics at the Johns Hopkins University.

Johns Hopkins University Press

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Table of Contents

Translator's Note
Preface to the English-Language Edition
Introduction: A Provisional Definition 1
I The Rise of the Scientific Study of Myth 9
The Beginnings of Modern Mythology 9
The Eighteenth-Century Forerunners of Heyne and Herder 13
The Romantics 19
The Science of Myth in the Nineteenth Century 22
The New Romantics 31
Mythology from Fontenelle to Frazer 32
II New Approaches to the Interpretation of Myth in the Twentieth Century 35
Myth and Psychoanalysis 36
Myth and Society: From Myth-and-Ritual Theory to Functionalism 39
The Structures of Myth and of Mythical Narrative 43
The Myth-and-Ritual Theory Revised 50
The Semiotic Approach 53
III Myth and Epic Poetry 57
Myth and Homer 57
The Origins of Greek Myth 68
IV The Origin of the World and the Gods 80
Hesiod's Theogony 80
The Eastern Background 86
Theogony and Cosmogony after Hesiod 96
V Myth, Sanctuary, and Festival 101
Delian Etiologies 102
Understanding Mythical Etiology 110
Myth, Sanctuary and Festival 118
VI Myth as History 121
Myth and Historiography 121
Genealogies 125
Mythical Constructions of History 131
Theseus and Athens 136
Myth as History 140
VII Myth, Choral Song, and Tragedy 142
Athenian Tragedy 142
Tragedy and Choral Poetry 145
The Oresteia 157
Euripides, Myth, and the Gods 168
VIII Philosophers, Allegorists, and Mythologists 176
Myth after the Fifth Century B.C. 176
Philosophical Mythologia and Mythopoeia 1: The Sophists 178
Philosophical Mythologia and Mythopoeia 2: Plato 183
Euhemerus 191
Mythographers 193
Allegorists 194
Abbreviations and Sources 199
Notes 203
Suggestions for Further Reading 223
Index 231
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