Exploring Greek Myth

Exploring Greek Myth


By (author) Matthew Clark


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Exploring Greek Myth offers an extensive discussion ofvariant forms of myths and lesser-known stories, includingimportant local myths and local versions of PanHellenic myths.Clark also discusses approaches to understanding myths, allowingstudents to gain an appreciation of the variety in onevolume. * Guides students from an introductory understanding of myths toa wide-ranging exploration of current scholarly approaches onmythology as a social practice and as an expression of thought * Written in an informal conversational style appealing tostudents by an experienced lecturer in the field * Offers extensive discussion of variant forms of myths and manylesser known, but deserving, stories * Investigates a variety of approaches to the study of mythincluding: the sources of our knowledge of Greek myth, myth andritual in ancient Greek society, comparative myth, myth and gender,hero cult, psychological interpretation of myth, and myth andphilosophy * Includes suggestions in each chapter for essays and researchprojects, as well as extensive lists of books and articles forfurther reading * The author draws on the work of many leading scholars in thefield in his exploration of topics throughout the text

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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).

Review quote

This volume admirably achieves Clark s goal ofbridging the gap between the introductory books and thescholarly studies. Summing Up: Recommended. Lower-level undergraduates and above; general readers. (Choice, 1 October 2012)

Back cover copy

"Exploring Greek Myth" offers a unique and extensive discussion of variant forms of myths and many lesser-known stories, including important local myths, known mostly in a particular city, and local versions of the PanHellenic myths; both crucially reflect the rituals, social practices, and mythic landscape of the world in which they were told. The book presents research that has accumulated over the past decades in a way that is accessible for those who are not yet scholars in the field. In doing so, it fills in the gap between introductory texts about Greek myth and scholarly works on the subject. Clark begins with a provisional definition of myth, and then moves on to consider a range of topics, which include 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. By drawing on the work and analytical methods of many leading scholars in the field, the book helps students appreciate the variety of the study of myth in one volume.

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