Roman and European Mythologies


This volume begins with Roman myths and traces their influence in early Christian and later European literature. Ninety-five entries by leading scholars cover subjects such as sacrificial cults and rites in pre-Roman Italy, Roman religion and its origins, the mythologies of paganism, the survival of the ancient gods in the Middle Ages and the
Renaissance, gypsy myths and rituals, romanticism and myth in Blake,...

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This volume begins with Roman myths and traces their influence in early Christian and later European literature. Ninety-five entries by leading scholars cover subjects such as sacrificial cults and rites in pre-Roman Italy, Roman religion and its origins, the mythologies of paganism, the survival of the ancient gods in the Middle Ages and the
Renaissance, gypsy myths and rituals, romanticism and myth in Blake,
Nerval, and Balzac, and myth in twentieth-century English literature.

Mythologies offers illuminating examples of the workings of myth in the structure of societies past and present—how we create,
use, and are guided by systems of myth to answer fundamental questions about ourselves and our world.

Many of the sections in Mythologies, originally published as a two-volume cloth set, will soon be available in four paperback volumes
(two are announced here; two more are scheduled for 1993). These volumes will reproduce the articles, introductory essays, and illustrations as they appeared in the full Mythologies set.

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Editorial Reviews

A selection of 95 articles from the 1991 translation of Bonnefroy's two-volume Mythologies (1981), complete with illustrations and bibliographies. Contributors discuss topics ranging from pre-Roman rites in Italy and the survival of pagan mythology in early Christianity, to the influence of European myth on romanticism and science fiction. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780226064550
  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Publication date: 11/28/1992
  • Edition description: 1
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 319
  • Product dimensions: 8.50 (w) x 11.00 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Meet the Author

Yves Bonnefoy is a poet, critic, and professor emeritus of comparative poetics at the Collège de France. In addition to poetry and literary criticism, he has published numerous works of art history and translated into French several of Shakespeare's plays.

Wendy Doniger is the Mircea Eliade Professor of the History of Religions in the Divinity School and a professor in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations and the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. She is the author of numerous books, including, most recently, The Woman Who Pretended to Be Who She Was.

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Table of Contents

Preface to the Paperback Edition, by Wendy Doniger
Preface to the English Edition of the Complete Work, by Wendy Doniger
Preface to the French Edition of the Complete Work, by Yves Bonnefoy
Part 1 - Introduction: The Interpretation of Mythology
Toward a Definition of Myth
The Interpretation of Myths: Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century Theories
Myth and Writing: The Mythographers
Prehistoric Religion
"Nomadic Thought" and Religious Action
Part 2 - Rome
Religion in Pre-Roman Italy: The Historical Framework
Sacrificial Cults and Rites in Pre-Roman Italy
Conceptions of the Afterlife among the Peoples of Pre-Roman Italy
Etruscan Religion
Etruscan Daemonology
Etruscan and Italic Divination
The Doctrine and Sacred Books of the Disciplina Etrusca
The Religion of the Sabellians and Umbrians, Italics of Central and Southern Italy
The Beliefs and Rites of the Apulians, an Indigenous People of Southeastern Italy
Myths and Cults of the Ancient Veneti, an Indo-European People of Northern Italy
Ver Sacrum: The Italic Rite of the "Sacred Springtime"
The Latins and the Origins of Roman Religion
Greco-Italic Traditions and Legends, from the Bronze Age to Virgil
Roman Religion
Roman Gods
Roman Sacrifice
The Religion of the Roman Republic: A Review of Recent Studies
Roman Festivities
Roman Divination
Roman Religion and Greek Philosophy
The Decline and Survival of Roman Religion
Anna Perenna
Apollo in Rome
The Arval Brethren
Augurs and Augury
The Religious Policies of Augustus
Cicero as Theologian
The Lares
The Manes
The Penates
Priapus: The Last of the Gods
Virgil's Religious Vision
Part 3 - Western Civilization in the Christian Era
The Survival of Myths in Early Christianity
Christian Judgments on the Analogies between Christianity and Pagan Mythology
The Euhemerism of the Christian Authors
Christianity and Mythology in the Greek Church
The Naassenes' Use of Pagan Mythologies
The Gnostics and the Mythologies of Paganism
The Perates and Their Gnostic Interpretation of Paganism
Eros among the Gnostics
Hecate in Greek Esotericism
Justin the Gnostic: A Syncretistic Mythology
The Medieval West and "Mythic Thought"
The Survival of the Ancient Gods in the Middle Ages and the Renaissance
Alchemy and Mythology
Cabala and Mythology
Pan among the Cabalists and Alchemists of the Renaissance
Fables and Symbols from Sixteenth- and Seventeenth-Century Hermeticism
Hercules in Alchemy
Orpheus in the Renaissance
King Arthur, the Romances of the Round Table, and the Legend of the Grail
Tristan and Isolde
Gypsy Myths and Rituals
Fable and Mythology in Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Literature and Theoretical Reflection
The Mythology of Ancient Switzerland
Mythic Elements in French Folklore
French Fairy Tales, Folktales, and Myths
Folk Beliefs and Legends about Fairies in France
Popular Customs and Rituals in France
Romanticism and Mythology: The Use of Myths in Literary Works
Romanticism and Myth in Blake, Nerval, and Balzac
The Mythology of European Decadent and Symbolist Literature
The Androgyne
The Androgyne, the Double, and the Reflection: A Few Myths of Romanticism
Romantic Myths of the Rebel and the Victim: Satan, Prometheus, Cain, Job, Faust, Ahasuerus, Don Juan, and Empedocles
Spirits of the Elements in the Romantic Period: Sylphs, Water Sprites, Salamanders, Gnomes, and Elves
Orpheus and the Poetic and Spiritual Quest of Romanticism
The Isis of Romanticism: The Myth of the Wife-Mother—Helen, Sophia, Mary
Julian the Apostate in Romantic Literature
Napoleon as Myth
Modernity's Challenge to Myth, in the Poetry of Hölderlin, Heine, Baudelaire, Mallarmé, T. S. Eliot, and Rilke
Hölderlin's Dionysus
Myth in Twentieth-Century English Literature
The Survival of Ancient Myths in Modern Greek Poetic Consciousness
Imagination and Mythology in Contemporary Literature (Tolkien, Lovecraft) and Science Fiction
Myth and Political Theory: Nationalisms and Socialisms
Epilogue: The Contemporary Need for Myths—a Testimonial

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