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Approaches to Greek Myth

, 480 pages

2 line drawings, 3 maps, 10 plates

September 2014



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Approaches to Greek Myth
second edition

Since the first edition of Approaches to Greek Myth was published in 1990, interest in Greek mythology has surged. There was no simple agreement on the subject of "myth" in classical antiquity, and there remains none today. Is myth a narrative or a performance? Can myth be separated from its context? What did myths mean to ancient Greeks and what do they mean today?

Here, Lowell Edmunds brings together practitioners of eight of the most important contemporary approaches to the subject. Whether exploring myth from a historical, comparative, or theoretical perspective, each contributor lucidly describes a particular approach, applies it to one or more myths, and reflects on what the approach yields that others do not. Edmunds's new general and chapter-level introductions recontextualize these essays and also touch on recent developments in scholarship in the interpretation of Greek myth.

Contributors are Jordi Pàmias, on the reception of Greek myth through history; H. S. Versnel, on the intersections of myth and ritual; Carolina López-Ruiz, on the near Eastern contexts; Joseph Falaky Nagy, on Indo-European structure in Greek myth; William Hansen, on myth and folklore; Claude Calame, on the application of semiotic theory of narrative; Christiane Sourvinou-Inwood, on reading visual sources such as vase paintings; and Robert A. Segal, on psychoanalytic interpretations.

Lowell Edmunds is an emeritus professor of classics at Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey. His books include Intertextuality and the Reading of Roman Poetry and Poet, Public, and Performance in Ancient Greece, both published by Johns Hopkins.

"Well organized, edited, and arranged, this text is of unquestioned value to all teachers of mythology, to the advanced student of the classics, and to the research scholar, a welcome resource volume."

"A valuable collection of eight essays representing a variety of approaches useful in the study of Greek myth... Edmunds's book provides a convenient opportunity to grapple with the current methodologies used in the analysis of literature and myth."

"The collection as a whole provides a handy introduction to some of the more useful methodological approaches to and the previous scholarship on the subject of Greek myths and their interpretation. Some articles will certainly interest some readers more than others. Most, however, are provocative, well written, and carefully documented, each contributing to the interpretation of Greek mythology."

"The quality and success of the first edition of this work finds a new iteration in the thoroughly new second edition... Very useful for both scholars and seminars on ancient Greek mythology."

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