Classical Mythology in Context encourages students to directly encounter and explore ancient myths and to understand them in broader interpretative contexts. Featuring a modular structure that coincides with the four main components of a classical mythology course--history, theory, comparison, and reception--each chapter (with the exception of Chapter 1) is built around one central figure or topic.
Classical Mythology in Context provides:
A sustained discussion of religious practices and sacred places that offers a key approach to the historical contextualization of Greek myths
An introduction to--and integration of--theoretical approaches to myth in each chapter that shows how these approaches affect the ways in which students understand myths and mythic figures
Ample selections of primary sources, all from the Oxford World's Classics series
A robust comparative approach examining Greek myths alongside other myths from the Mediterranean Basin and the Ancient Near East
An approach to the reception of myths as interpretation and reflection in Western art, with an emphasis on contemporary culture
An Ancillary Resource Center (ARC) that includes PowerPoint-based lecture slides and an Instructor's Resource Manual
A Companion Website that provides additional student and instructor resources
Compelling and relevant illustrations provide visual evidence for placing myths in context
Abundant maps help students locate all sites in Greece, the larger Greek world, and the Ancient Near East
A detailed Timeline for Greece, Rome, and the Ancient Near East helps students situate key works within their cultural and historical contexts
"The Essentials": In Part I, these boxes appear at the start of each chapter, introducing students to the most essential information about a god or goddess and previewing that chapter's content. In Part II, they appear whenever a new hero or heroine is introduced.
"Before You Read" section for each primary source and critical reading is prefaced with a brief contextual overview followed by questions that encourage critical thinking
Paired chapters explore different aspects of a god, hero, or heroine, equipping students with analytical tools that can be applied to other topics
A list of Key Terms at the end of each chapter helps students review and retain its most important points
A "For Further Exploration" annotated bibliography at the end of each chapter provides a starting point for students who wish to learn more about the chapter's content
A Select Bibliography at the end of the book, divided by chapter (and further divided by chapter section) emphasizes scholarly works that are accessible to students
A Combined Glossary and Index includes a pronunciation key, the Greek form (where relevant), and brief description for all figures, places, and rituals in the text
Lisa Maurizio is Associate Professor of Classical and Medieval Studies at Bates College. She publishes on Greek religious practices, especially divination at Delphi. In addition, she has written several plays on classical themes, two of which have been produced by Animus Ensemble at the Boston Center for the Arts: "Tereus in Fragments" and "The Memory of Salt."
Table of Contents
About the Author
PART I: GODDESSES AND GODS
Genealogy of Greek Gods
Timeline of the Ancient Near East and the Mediterranean
Map: Greece and Asia Minor
1. CLASSICAL MYTHOLOGY AND CONTEMPORARY QUESTIONS
1.1 What is a Myth?
Myth, Legend, and Folklore
A Three-Point Definition of a Mythological Corpus
1.2 What is Classical Mythology?
Myths from Ancient Greece
Myths from the Ancient Near East
Myths from Ancient Rome
1.3 How Do We Make Sense of Classical Myths?
1.4 Why Study Classical Myths in the Twenty-First Century?
2. CREATION MYTHS
2.1 History: A Greek Creation Story
Historical Settings of Hesiod's Theogony
Hesiod's Creation Story: The Theogony
Primary Source: Hesiod, Theogony
2.2 Theory: The Social World Shapes Myths
Ivan Strenski, from "Introduction" to Malinowski and the Work of Myth
2.3 Comparison (Levant): Creation Stories
2.4 Reception: Titans in Modern Art 1.1-3.24
Paul Manship, "Prometheus, the Light Bringer"
Lee Oscar Lawrie, "Atlas"
3. ZEUS AND HERA
3.1 History: Order and Rebellion
Zeus and Prometheus Bound
Primary Source: Aeschylus, from Prometheus Bound
3.2 Theory: Finding Universal Meanings in Myths
Wendy Doniger, from The Implied Spider: Politics and Theology in Myth
3.3 Comparison (Levant): Flood Stories
Primary Source: Genesis 6-9
3.4 Reception: Leda and the Swan in Modernist Art
Marie Laurencin, "Leda and the Swan"
William Butler Yeats, "Leda and the Swan"
Hilda Doolittle (HD), "Leda"
4. DEMETER AND HADES
4.1 History: Life and Death
Primary Source: Homer, Hymn 2: To Demeter
4.2 Theory: Myths Reinforce Social Norms
Helene Foley, from "A Question of Origins: Goddess Cults Greek and Modern"
4.3 Comparison (Mesopotamia): A Sumerian Mother Goddess
Primary Source: from "In the Desert by the Early Grass"
4.4 Reception: Persephone in Contemporary Women's Poetry
Rita Frances Dove, "The Narcisssus Flower"
Rachel Zucker,"Diary [Underworld]"
Alison Townsend, "Persephone in America"
5. APHRODITE, ARES, AND HEPHAESTUS
5.1 History: Love and Strife
Primary Source: Homer, Hymn 5: To Aphrodite
5.2 Theory: How Myths Challenge Social Norms
John J. Winkler, from "The Laughter of the Oppressed: Demeter and the Gardens of Adonis"
5.3 Comparison (Mesopotamia): Ishtar
Primary Source: The Descent of Ishtar to the Underworld
5.4 Reception: Pygmalion in Hollywood
My Fair Lady
Lars and the Real Girl
6. ATHENA AND POSEIDON
6.1 History: Wisdom and War
Athena's Practical Intelligence and Men's Activities
Athena and the City of Athens
Primary Source: Aeschylus, from Eumenides
6.2 Theory: The Mind Structures Myth in Oppositions
Simon Goldhill, from Aeschylus: The Oresteia
6.3 Comparison (Egypt): Athena and the Goddess Neith
Primary Source: Unknown, from "Cosmogonies at the Temple of Esna"
6.4 Reception: Athena as a Political Allegory
Eugene Delacroix "Liberty Leading the People"
François-Charles Morice and Léopold Morice "The Statute of Republic"
Frédéric Bartholdi, "The Statue of Liberty"
Emma Lazarus, "The New Colossus"
7. HERMES AND HESTIA
7.1 History: From Herms to Hermes
Primary Source: Homer, Hymn 4: To Hermes
7.2 Theory: The Mind Structures Myth in Archetypes
Lewis Hyde, from Trickster Makes this World: Mischief, Myth and Art
7.3 Comparison: Egyptian Thoth and Greek Hermes
Primary Source: "The Hymn to Thoth"
Primary Source: Plato, from Phaedrus
7.4 Reception: Hermaphroditus in Pre-Raphaelite Art
Charles Algernon Swinburne, "Hermaphroditus"
Edward Burne-Jones, "The Tree of Forgiveness"
Aubrey Beardsley "A Hermaphrodite among the Roses"
8. ARTEMIS AND APOLLO
8.1 History: From Adolescence to Adulthood
Primary Source: Homer, Hymn 3: To Apollo
Primary Source: Homer, Hymn 27: To Artemis
8.2 Theory: Myth, Ritual, and Initiations
Ken Dowden, "Initiation: The Key to Myth?"
8.3 Comparison (Anatolia): Cybele
Primary Source: Xenophon, from "An Ephesian Tale"
8.4 Reception: Actaeon and Daphne in Contemporary Poetry
Alicia Stallings, "Daphne"
Seamus Heaney, "Actaeon"
Don Paterson, "A Call"
9.1 History: Encountering Dionysus
Viticulture, Wine and Fertility
Theater and Masks
Primary Source: Homer, Hymn 7: To Dionysus
Primary Source: Euripides, from Bacchae
9.2 Theory: Initiations and Ritual Cults
Eric Csapo, from "Riding the Phallus for Dionysus: Iconology, Ritual, and Gender-Role De/Construction"
9.3 Comparison (Anatolia): Cybele and Attis
Primary Source: Catullus, "Attis"
9.4 Reception: Dionysus as a God of the 1960s
Richard Schechner, Dionysus in 69
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
Wole Soyinka, The Bacchae of Euripides: A Communion Rite
PART II: HEROES AND HEROINES
10. ACHILLES: THE MAKING OF A HERO
10.1 History: Defining Greek Heroes
Five Traits of Greek Heroes
Heroes in Cult
Heroes in Myth
Primary Source: Homer, from The Iliad
10.2 Theory: The Plot of the Hero's Story
Vladimir Propp, from Morphology of the Folktale
10.3 Comparison: Epic Heroes from Sumer to Rome
Gilgamesh and the Burden of Mortality
Aeneas and the Founding of Rome
Primary Source: from"The Epic of Gilgamesh"
Primary Source: Vergil, from Aeneid (Books 1, 7, 10, 12)
10.4 Reception: Achilles and War Poetry
Patrick Shaw-Stewart, "I Saw A Man This Morning"
Randall Jarrell, "When Achilles Fought and Fell"
Michael Longley, "Ceasefire"
11. MEDEA: THE MAKING OF A HEROINE
11.1 History: Defining Heroines
Five Traits of Greek Heroines
Heroines in Cult
Heroines in Myth
Primary Source: Euripides, from Medea
11.2 Theory: The Plot of the Heroine's Story
Mary Ann Jezewski, from "Traits of the Female Hero: The Application of Raglan's Hero Trait Patterning"
11.3 Comparison: Medea in Rome
Primary Source: Ovid, from Metamorphoses
11.4 Reception: African-American Medea
Countée Cullen, The Medea, and Some Other Poems
Owen Dodson, The Garden of Time
Toni Morrison, Beloved
12. ODYSSEUS AND QUEST HEROES
12.1 History: The Hero's Quest
Defining a Quest Hero
Primary Source: Homer, from The Odyssey
12.2 Theory: The Quest Hero
Joseph Campbell's Monomyth
Subjective Experience and the External Landscape
W.H. Auden, from "The Quest Hero"
12.3 Comparison: The Hero's Journey to the Land of Death
Gilgamesh and the Waters of Death
Odysseus in the Underworld
Aeneas in Avernus
Primary Source: Vergil, from The Aeneid (Books 2-6)
Primary Source: from The Epic of Gilgamesh (Tablets IX-XI)
12.4 Reception: African-American Odysseus
Sterling A. Brown, "Odyssey of Big Boy"
Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God
13. IPHIGENEIA AND NEW HEROINES
13.1. History: The Heroine's Quest
Changing Definitions of Heroes and Heroines in Ancient Greece
The New Heroine (and the New Hero)
Iphigenia in Aulis and Among the Taurians
Primary Source: Euripides, from Iphigenia Among the Taurians
13.2. Theory: A Paradigm for the New Heroine
Apuleius' Tale of Amor and Psyche
Defining the New Heroine in Anthropology and Literature
L. R. Edwards, from Psyche as Hero: Female Heroism and Fictional Form
13.3. Comparison (Rome): Thecla
Saints and Martyrs in Early Christian Communities
New Heroines and Martyrs
Thecla as a Christian Heroine
Primary Source: "The Acts of Paul and Thecla"
13.4 Reception: Iphiengia in New York City
Charles L. Mee, Iphigenia 2.0
Michi Barall, Rescue Me: A Postmodern Classic with Snacks