Gender and Immortality: Heroines in Ancient Greek Myth and Cult

Gender and Immortality: Heroines in Ancient Greek Myth and Cult

Paperback Princeton Legacy Library

By (author) Deborah Lyons

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  • Publisher: Princeton University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 296 pages
  • Dimensions: 156mm x 234mm x 15mm | 399g
  • Publication date: 14 July 2014
  • Publication City/Country: New Jersey
  • ISBN 10: 0691606218
  • ISBN 13: 9780691606217

Product description

In recent years, the topic of ancient Greek hero cult has been the focus of considerable discussion among classicists. Little attention, however, has been paid to female heroized figures. Here Deborah Lyons argues for the heroine as a distinct category in ancient Greek religious ideology and daily practice. The heroine, she believes, must be located within a network of relations between male and female, mortal and immortal. Using evidence ranging from Homeric epic to Attic vase painting to ancient travel writing, she attempts to re-integrate the feminine into our picture of Greek notions of the hero. According to Lyons, heroines differ from male heroes in several crucial ways, among which is the ability to cross the boundaries between mortal and immortal. She further shows that attention to heroines clarifies fundamental Greek ideas of mortal/immortal relationships. The book first discusses heroines both in relation to heroes and as a separate religious and mythic phenomenon. It examines the cultural meanings of heroines in ritual and representation, their use as examples for mortals, and their typical "biographies." The model of "ritual antagonism," in which two mythic figures represented as hostile share a cult, is ultimately modified through an exploration of the mythic correspondences between the god Dionysos and the heroines surrounding him, and through a rethinking of the relationship between Iphigeneia and Artemis. An appendix, which identifies more than five hundred heroines, rounds out this lively work. Originally published in 1996. The Princeton Legacy Library uses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

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Review quote

"Scholars, teachers, and college students are certain to find this contribution not only interesting but enlightening for classical literature, mythology, and women's studies, and the inclusion of an Appendix, 'A Catalogue of Heroines,' most useful."--Classical World

Table of contents

List of Illustrations ix Acknowledgments xi Note to the Reader xiii Abbreviations xv Introduction 3 Chapter One Heroines and Heroes 7 Chapter Two Heroines and Mortals 35 Chapter Three Mortals and Immortals 69 Chapter Four Dionysiac Heroines 103 Chapter Five The Goddess and Her Doubles 134 Appendix: Mythic Female Cult-Founders 169 Conclusion 171 Appendix A Catalogue of Heroines 173 Bibliography 237 Index Locorum 255 General Index 261