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Exploring Greek Myth

Exploring Greek Myth

Matthew Clark

ISBN: 978-1-405-19456-3

Apr 2012, Wiley-Blackwell

216 pages

In Stock



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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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

“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)