Exploring Greek Myth
April 2012, ©2012, Wiley-Blackwell
- 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
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
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
“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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