How Philosophers Saved Myths: Allegorical Interpretation and Classical Mythology

How Philosophers Saved Myths: Allegorical Interpretation and Classical Mythology


By (author) Luc Brisson

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  • Publisher: University of Chicago Press
  • Format: Hardback | 224 pages
  • Dimensions: 158mm x 241mm x 18mm | 454g
  • Publication date: 7 December 2004
  • Publication City/Country: Chicago, IL
  • ISBN 10: 0226075354
  • ISBN 13: 9780226075358
  • Sales rank: 1,334,612

Product description

In this concise but wide-ranging study, Luc Brisson describes how the myths of Greece and Rome were transmitted from antiquity to the Renaissance. He argues that philosophy was responsible for saving myth from historical annihilation. Although philosophy was initially critical of myth, mythology was progressively reincorporated into philosophy through allegory. Brisson reveals how philosophers employed allegory and how it enabled myth to take on a number of different interpretive systems throughout the centuries: moral, physical, psychological, political, and even metaphysical.

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Author information

Luc Brisson is director of research at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in France. He is the author of several books, including Plato the Mythmaker, published by the University of Chicago Press. Catherine Tihanyi, a research associate at Western Washington University, has translated a number of books for the University of Chicago Press, including Adam Biro's Two Jews on a Train.

Review quote

"A compressed overview with moments of great insight.... Its strengths lie in the details Brisson is able to work into this brief treatment." - Peter Struck, Journal of Religion "This wonderful book confirms Brisson's status as one of the major authorities in the field of classical antiquity. Overall, and with this excellent translation, the book is invaluable." - Choice"