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Exploring Greek Myth

April 2012, ©2012, Wiley-Blackwell
Exploring Greek Myth (EHEP002840) cover image


Exploring Greek Myth offers an extensive discussion of variant forms of myths and lesser-known stories, including important local myths and local versions of PanHellenic myths. Clark also discusses approaches to understanding myths, allowing students to gain an appreciation of the variety in one volume.

  • Guides students from an introductory understanding of myths to a wide-ranging exploration of current scholarly approaches on mythology as a social practice and as an expression of thought
  • Written in an informal conversational style appealing to students by an experienced lecturer in the field
  • Offers extensive discussion of variant forms of myths and many lesser known, but deserving, stories
  • Investigates a variety of approaches to the study of myth including: the sources of our knowledge of Greek myth, myth and ritual in ancient Greek society, comparative myth, myth and gender, hero cult, psychological interpretation of myth, and myth and philosophy
  • Includes suggestions in each chapter for essays and research projects, as well as extensive lists of books and articles for further reading
  • The author draws on the work of many leading scholars in the field  in his exploration of topics throughout the text
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Table of Contents

List of Illustrations vii

Preface ix

Acknowledgments xiii

Chapter One: The Knife Did It 1

Definitions and Characteristics for the Study of Myth

Chapter Two: Six Hundred Gods 15

Greek Myth and Greek Religion

Chapter Three: Homer’s Beauty Pageant 30

The Traditions of Myth

Chapter Four: Pelops’ Shoulder 43

Sources for the Study of Myth

Chapter Five: Ikaros’ Wings, Aktaion’s Dogs 54

Myth and Meaning

Chapter Six: The Bones of Orestes 68

Heroes in Myth and Society

Chapter Seven: Born from the Earth 80

Founders of Cities and Families

Chapter Eight: The Judgment of Paris 97

Comparative Myth

Chapter Nine: Boys in Dresses, Brides with Beards 111

Myth and Gender

Chapter Ten: Agamemnon’s Mask? 126

Myth and History

Chapter Eleven: Orestes on Trial 140

Myth and Thought

Chapter Twelve: Plato and the Poets 154

Philosophy and Myth

Chapter Thirteen: Conclusion 168

Notes 171

References 179

Index 187

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Author Information

Matthew Clark is Associate Professor of Ancient Greek Literature and Culture in the Department of Humanities at York University in Toronto. His previous publications include Out of Line: Homeric Composition Beyond the Hexameter (1997), A Matter of Style: Writing and Technique (2002), and Narrative Structures and the Language of the Self (2010).
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“This volume admirably achieves Clark’s goal of bridging “the gap between the introductory books and the scholarly studies.  Summing Up:  Recommended.  Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers.”  (Choice, 1 October 2012)

“There is no better guide to virtually all one needs to know to begin to appreciate what myth was and meant to the ancient Greeks. Exploring Greek Myth is the first book a student should read after the myths themselves.” – Eric Csapo, University of Sydney

Exploring Greek Myth is an ingenious and learned approach to a topic that is all too often treated superficially and even condescendingly. Matthew Clark shows the depth of thought that myth requires of its interpreters, and his book truly speaks for itself in its eloquence and insight.”  - Gregory Nagy, Francis Jones Professor of Classical Greek Literature and Professor of Comparative Literature, Harvard University

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Purchase Options
Exploring Greek Myth
ISBN : 978-1-4051-9455-6
216 pages
April 2012, ©2012
$41.95   BUY

Wiley E-Text   
Exploring Greek Myth
ISBN : 978-1-118-28881-8
216 pages
January 2013
$93.95   BUY

Exploring Greek Myth
ISBN : 978-1-4051-9456-3
216 pages
April 2012
$102.95   BUY

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