CLASSIC 45B Lecture 1: Intro to Classical Mythology

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Andromache Karanika

Class: Classics 45B Topic: Introduction to Classical Mythology Date: 1-9-17 Meaning of Myth ● mythos=utterance, speech ● Involves a story that is told and heard by people,product of storyteller by tradition from person to person ● Primarily concerned with gods and mortals ● Myth cognates with the word mythos in ancient Greek ● Mythos synonymous with logos and epos ● Terms like saga or legend have a more specific relationship to history and the making of history(as in family legend, local legend). Folktale. Are all non-historical narratives classed as myth? Where does myth come ● Origins of Greek mythology in oral tradition from? ● Influence by other traditions of the East( Egypt, Mesopotamia) ● The oldest surviving myths as they appear in the narrative of Homer and Hesiod, epics in a crystallized form that spring from a rich oral tradition Early attempts to ● Intersections between myth and religion. The problem of study of interpret myths ancient ritual with mythological narratives. Etiological approaches ● Metaphor, allegory, symbolism. Euphemisms( from Euhemerus) ○ Euhemerus thought that some gods were eternal and imperishable but others were initially kinds who were deified ● Allegory (such as nature myths) What does the scientific ● The use of myth to understand modernity. From astrophysics to study of myth have to archaeology and art history, politics to sociology. offer to us today? ● Structuralism (binary oppositions) ● Feminism ● Psychoanalysis. ○ First generation (Freud, emphasis on sexuality). ○ Second generation Myths as the ‘collective unconscious’ (Jung) Basic Sources of ● Ancient Greek Lit Classical Mythology ● Latin Lit ● Archaeological Evidence Myth and Literature ● Literature the most important source of myth. ● A myth transcends literature ● Doesn't coincide with a particular text or literary genre ● We will often investigate the same myth due to the traditional through a variety of sources looking at diff versions character in the transmission of myth, and the absence of an
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