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From Ikaria to the Stars Classical Mythification, Ancient and Modern by Peter Green

From Ikaria to the Stars Classical Mythification, Ancient and Modern


From Ikaria to the Stars Classical Mythification, Ancient and Modern by Peter Green

I hadn't, till I really started digging, gauged the fierce intensity of the need for myth in the human psyche, of any age, or sensed the variety of motives dictating that need, writes Peter Green in the introduction to this wide-ranging collection of essays on classical mythology and the mythic experience. Using the need for myth as the starting point for exploring a number of topics in Greek mythology and history, Green advances new ideas about why the human urge to make myths persists across the millennia and why the borderland between mythology and history can sometimes be hard to map. Green looks at both specific problems in classical mythology and larger theoretical issues. His explorations underscore how mythic expression opens a door into non-rational and quasi-rational modes of thought in which it becomes possible to rewrite painful truths and unacceptable history-which is, Green argues, a dangerous enterprise. His study of the intersections between classical mythology and Greek history ultimately drives home a larger point, the degree of mythification and deception (of oneself no less than of others) of which the human mind is capable.


The essays in this volume supply sumptuous mezes to give you an appetite to fill your belly with the classics. All are informed by knoweldge not only of the canonical texts but, it seems, of almost every scrap of un-golden age scribble that might be useful to Green's unflagging purpose... a classical education in itself. --CULTURE supplement to the SUNDAY TIMES, 14 November 2004 Green presents to historians, philosophers, and students of literature generally the reflections of a robust, generous, wonderfully learned, opinionated, personally involved, unfailingly interesting monitor of western civilization past and present. Alan L. Boegehold, Professor Emeritus of Classics, Brown University ... it is undeniable that few scholars have made such an effort to allow the Greeks and Romans to speak for themselves; even fewer have been blessed with such a good ear for the rhetoric of self-delusion... The enviable scholarly range Green demonstrates in this volume is representative of his enormously diverse oeuvre, which covers classical and Hellenistic history as well as translations of Apollonius, Ovid and Juvenal... What loosely connects the seventeen revised essays and reviews in this volume ... is a historically contextualizing but imaginative approach to ancient thought, especially mythology. Almost all the essays emphasize Green's conviction that myths are more significant than historical narratives. oEdith Hall, Times Literary Supplement, February 11 2005

About the Author

PETER GREEN is James R. Dougherty, Jr., Centennial Professor of Classics Emeritus at the University of Texas at Austin. Currently he serves as Adjunct Professor of Classics at the University of Iowa and Editor of Syllecta Classica.

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Book Info

Publication date

18th August 2010


Peter Green

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University of Texas Press


348 pages


Folklore, myths & legends



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