By Stephen Kershaw
The publication leads the reader via those vivid tales, from the origins of the gods via to the homecomings of the Trojan heroes. the entire known narratives are the following, in addition to a few much less widespread characters and motifs. as well as the stories, the booklet explains key matters bobbing up from the narratives, and discusses the myths and their wider relevance.
This long-overdue publication crystallises 3 key components of curiosity: the character of the stories; the tales themselves; and the way they've got and may be interpreted. For the 1st time, it brings jointly elements of Greek mythology simply often on hand in disparate kinds - particularly children's books and educational works. there'll be a lot right here that's fascinating, astonishing, and unusual in addition to generic. specialists and non-experts, adults, scholars and schoolchildren alike will achieve leisure and perception from this attention-grabbing and demanding quantity.
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Extra info for A Brief Guide to the Greek Myths
His masterful history systematically traces the struggle between Asia and Europe and incorporates a fusion of cultural and religious data in meticulous prose. This extract from Book one presents a cultural survey of Cypriot rites imported to Paphos from a “shameful” Babylonian model which delineates the high price of one’s civic duty: Every woman born in the country must once in her life go and sit down in the precinct of Aphrodite, and there consort with a stranger … a woman who has taken her seat is not allowed to return home till one of the strangers throws a silver coin into her lap and takes her with him beyond the holy ground.
Aphrodite plays a role in two of these productions: Seven Against Thebes (467 BC) and The Suppliants (ca. 463 BC). In the latter, the Chorus of fifty Daniads plead their case to remain in Argos, thereby avoiding enforced marriage to cousins in Egypt. ”54 King Pelasgus and his populace oblige the Danaids and their father Danaus cautions modesty and gratitude to these willing hosts. However: Just so, when Aphrodite finds the orchard gate Pushed wide, and sweet, ripe bodies there, she makes it known, Till every man that passes, sick with longing, aims 55 Heart-melting glances at such virgin loveliness.
The passage partly quoted below is a lengthy one about Phryne (Mnesarete), whom Athenaeus posits as the model for the Venus painting. Phryne from Thespiae was a celebrated Athenian courtesan who flourished in ca. 96 She was mistress to Praxiteles, who sculpted a statue of her for the Temple of Apollo at Delphi. 97 Nevertheless, he is the first to concede that Phryne was a controversial figure, particularly in court (ca. 350 BC), where her defence lawyer Hyperidies, in a ploy to overturn the trial, removed her clothing, creating an historically flamboyant legal precedent that would prompt a decree banning court nudity and theatrics: … he caused the judges to feel superstitious fear of this handmaid and ministrant of Aphrodite, and indulging their feeling of compassion, they refrained from putting her to death … As a matter of fact, Phryne was more beautiful in the unseen parts.
A Brief Guide to the Greek Myths by Stephen Kershaw