Women in Greek Myth

Women in Greek Myth


By (author) Mary R. Lefkowitz

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  • Format: Paperback | 280 pages
  • Dimensions: 154mm x 226mm x 16mm | 381g
  • Publication date: 1 July 2007
  • Publication City/Country: Baltimore, MD
  • ISBN 10: 0801886503
  • ISBN 13: 9780801886508
  • Edition: 2, Revised
  • Edition statement: 2nd Revised edition
  • Illustrations note: 16 black & white illustrations
  • Sales rank: 620,965

Product description

In the first edition of Women in Greek Myth, Mary R. Lefkowitz convincingly challenged narrow, ideological interpretations of the roles of female characters in Greek mythology. Where some scholars saw the Amazons as the last remnant of a forgotten matriarchy, Clytemnestra as a frustrated individualist, and Antigone as an oppressed revolutionary, Lefkowitz argued that such views were justified neither by the myths themselves nor by the relevant documentary evidence. Concentrating on those aspects of women's experience most often misunderstood-life apart from men, marriage, influence in politics, self-sacrifice and martyrdom, and misogyny-she presented a far less negative account of the role of Greek women, both ordinary and extraordinary, as manifested in the central works of Greek literature. This updated and expanded edition includes six new chapters on such topics as heroic women in Greek epic, seduction and rape in Greek myth, and the parts played by women in ancient rites and festivals. Revisiting the original chapters as well to incorporate two decades of more recent scholarship, Lefkowitz again shows that what Greek men both feared and valued in women was not their sexuality but their intelligence.

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Author information

Mary R. Lefkowitz is the Andrew W. Mellon Professor in Humanities emerita at Wellesley College and coeditor of Women's Life in Greece and Rome, also published by Johns Hopkins.

Review quote

The evidence Lefkowitz provides in the new chapters bolsters her claims and makes this edition a necessary replacement of the former. Choice 2008