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Cover

Classical Mythology in Context

Lisa Maurizio

Publication Date - November 2015

ISBN: 9780199782833

712 pages
Paperback
7-1/2 x 9-1/4 inches

Retail Price to Students: $99.99

Provides a contextualized treatment of classical myth, combining ancient sources, comparative perspectives, theoretical approaches, and artistic interpretations

Description

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

FEATURES

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

Features

  • 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

About the Author(s)

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."

Reviews

"Classical Mythology in Context brings the nuances of mythology before the eyes of students who might only know these tales through some bland rendition that squares away all the contradictions and paradoxes in the original texts. This book insists upon critical thinking and thoughtful reflection from its readers."--Micaela Janan, Duke University

"The inclusion of sections on Theory, Comparison, and Reception is one of my favorite features of Classical Mythology in Context. It takes the whole project to an intellectual level more ambitious than that of rival textbooks."--John Gibert, University of Colorado

"I like the overall organization of this book. I find the primary source selections original, well justified, and interesting. The table of contents reflects many of the choices I have already made for my own Classical Mythology class, and it will be useful to have all of this in a handy volume."--Marie-Claire Beaulieu, Tufts University

"The table of contents closely resembles how I teach classical myth. It touches on the myths themselves, but does not simply retell them. It considers religion, art, and scholarship, yet merges these seamlessly into a coherent presentation that is fun to read."--Robert Forman, St. John's University

"Classical Mythology in Context may be the new standard for the undergraduate classical myth course. It breaks away from the encyclopedic content-intensive traditional format to a much wider scope. Chapters give due attention both to ancient cults and the literary classics of the Greeks and their important variants. Recurrent themes and patterns that mark ancient myth are enlarged with comparative texts from Mesopotamia, Rome, and even the early Christian era. Theories are not simply enumerated and summarized, but are put to work to illuminate the dominant concerns of mythic narrative. Explanations are lucid and accessible to students. Cultural connections, especially those that touch on gender, race, and hierarchy, figure prominently. Students will recognize throughout the book that what they are studying is consequential, with a long pedigree in the human story and a contemporary vitality worth savoring."--Joseph O'Connor, The Catholic University of America

"The pivotal strength of Classical Mythology in Context is its inviting accessibility and ability to combine generalities with specifics. The author compels deeper reflection and stirs a desire to delve deeper into this heritage, into the enduring conditions of being human."--Edith Livermore, Loyola University Chicago

Table of Contents

    *=Primary Source
    Preface
    About the Author
    PART I: GODDESSES AND GODS
    Genealogy of the Greek Gods
    Timeline of Classical Mythology
    Map: Greece and Greek-Speaking Cities in Anatolia
    1. CLASSICAL MYTHS 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?
    History
    Theory
    Comparison
    Reception
    1.4 Why Study Classical Myths in the Twenty-First Century?
    2. CREATION
    2.1 History: A Greek Creation Story
    Historical Settings of Hesiod's Theogony
    Hesiod's Creation Story: The Theogony
    * 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
    * Genesis 1:1-3:24
    2.4 Reception: Titans in Modern Art
    Paul Manship, Prometheus, the Light Bringer
    Lee Oscar Lawrie, Atlas
    3. ZEUS AND HERA
    3.1 History: Order and Rebellion
    Zeus
    Hera
    Zeus and Prometheus Bound
    * Aeschylus, from Prometheus Bound
    3.2 Theory: Universal Questions Shape Myth
    Wendy Doniger, from The Implied Spider: Politics and Theology in Myth
    3.3 Comparison: Levant: Flood Stories
    * Genesis 6-9
    3.4 Reception: Leda and the Swan in Modernist Poetry
    Marie Laurencin, Leda and the Swan
    William Butler Yeats, Leda and the Swan
    Hilda Doolittle (H.D.), "Leda"
    4. DEMETER AND HADES
    4.1 History: Life and Death
    Hades
    Demeter
    * Unknown, Hymn 2: To Demeter
    4.2 Theory: Myths Reinforce Social Norms
    * Helene P. Foley, from "A Question of Origins: Goddess Cults Greek and Modern"
    4.3 Comparison (Mesopotamia): A Sumerian Mother Goddess
    * Unknown, from In the Desert by the Early Grass
    4.4 Reception: Persephone in Contemporary Women's Poetry
    * Rita Frances Dove, "The Narcisssus Flower" (1995)
    * Rachel Zucker,"Diary [Underworld]" (2003)
    * Alison Townsend, "Persephone in America" (2009)
    5. APHRODITE, HEPHAESTUS, AND ARES
    5.1 History: Love and Strife
    Aphrodite
    Hephaestus
    Ares
    Eros
    Unknown, Hymn 5: To Aphrodite
    5.2 Theory: Myths Challenge Social Norms
    * John J. Winkler, from "The Laughter of the Oppressed: Demeter and the Gardens of Adonis"
    5.3 Comparison: Mesopotamia: Ishtar
    * Unknown, The Descent of Ishtar to the Underworld
    5.4 Reception: Pygmalion in Hollywood
    Pygmalion
    My Fair Lady
    Pretty Woman
    Lars and the Real Girl
    6. ATHENA AND POSEIDON
    6.1 History: Wisdom and War
    Athena's Birth
    Athena's Practical Intelligence and Men's Activities
    Poseidon
    Athena and the City of Athens
    * Aeschylus, from Eumenides
    6.2 Theory: The Mind Structures Myth in Oppositions
    Simon Goldhill, from Aeschylus: The Oresteia
    6.3 Comparison: Egypt: Neith
    * 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 the Republic"
    Emma Lazarus, "The New Colossus"
    Frédéric Bartholdi, "The Statue of Liberty"
    7. HERMES AND HESTIA
    7.1 History: From Herms to Hermes
    Hermes's Hills
    Ithyphallic Herms
    Beardless Hermes
    Hestia
    * Unknown, 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: Egypt: Thoth
    * Unknown, "The Hymn to Thoth"
    * Plato, from Phaedrus
    7.4 Reception: Hermaphroditus in Pre-Raphaelite Art
    Charles Algernon Swinburne, "Hermaphroditus" (1863)
    Edward Burne-Jones, "The Tree of Forgiveness"
    Aubrey Beardsley, "A Hermaphrodite amongst the Roses"
    8. ARTEMIS AND APOLLO
    8.1 History: From Adolescence to Adulthood
    Artemis
    Apollo
    * Unknown, Homer, Hymn 3: To Apollo
    * Unknown, Homer, Hymn 27: To Artemis
    8.2 Theory: Myth, Ritual, and Initiations
    Jane Harrison and the Cambridge Ritualists
    Arnold van Gennep and Rites of Passage
    * Ken Dowden, "Initiation: The Key to Myth?"
    8.3 Comparison: Anatolia and Rome: Cybele
    Artemis and the Phrygian Great Mother
    Artemis in Roman Ephesus
    * Xenophon, from An Ephesian Tale
    8.4 Reception: Actaeon and Daphne in Contemporary Poetry
    Alicia E. Stallings, "Daphne"
    Seamus Heaney, "Actaeon"
    Don Paterson, "A Call"
    9. DIONYSUS
    9.1 History: Encountering Dionysus
    Viticulture, Wine, and Fertility
    Theater and Masks
    Mystery Cults
    Euripides's Bacchae
    * Euripides, from Bacchae
    * Unknown, Hymn 7: To Dionysos
    9.2 Theory: Initiations and Inversions
    Liminality and Initiation Rituals
    Liminality and Dionysus
    * Eric Csapo, from "Riding the Phallus for Dionysus: Iconology, Ritual, and Gender-Role De/Construction"
    9.3 Comparison: Anatolia and Rome: Cybele and Attis
    The Great Mother in Greece
    The Great Mother in Rome
    * Catullus, "Attis"
    9.4 Reception: Dionysus as a God of the 1960s
    Dionysus in '69
    The Rocky Horror Picture Show
    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
    Heracles
    Theseus
    Oedipus
    Achilles
    * Homer, from the Iliad
    10.2 Theory: The Plot of the Hero's Story
    * Vladimir Propp, from Morphology of the Folktale
    10.3 Comparison: Mesopotamia and Rome: Gilgamesh and Aeneas
    Gilgamesh and the Burden of Mortality
    Aeneas and the Founding of Rome
    * Unknown, from the Epic of Gilgamesh
    * Vergil, from Aeneid
    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"
    Jonathan Shay, from Achilles in Vietnam: Combat Trauma and the Undoing of Character
    11. MEDEA: THE MAKING OF A HEROINE
    11.1 History: Defining Heroines
    Five Traits of Greek Heroines
    Heroines in Cult
    Heroines in Myth
    Helen
    Clytemnestra
    Hecuba
    Medea
    * 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: Rome: Medea
    Seneca's Medea
    Ovid's Medea
    * 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
    Perseus
    Bellerophon
    Jason
    Odysseus
    * 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: Mesopotamia and Rome: Gilgamesh and Aeneas
    Gilgamesh and the Waters of Death
    Odysseus in the Underworld
    Aeneas in Avernus
    * Vergil, from Aeneid
    * Unknown, from the Epic of Gilgamesh
    12.4 Reception: African American Odysseus
    Sterling A. Brown, "Odyssey of Big Boy"
    Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God
    13. IPHIGENIA AND QUEST 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
    * 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
    Lee 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
    * Unknown, from "The Acts of Paul and Thecla"
    13.4 Reception: Ten Years of Iphigenia in New York City
    Charles L. Mee's Iphigenia 2.0
    Michi Barall's Rescue Me: A Postmodern Classic with Snacks
    Select Bibliography
    Text Credits
    Image Credits
    Glossary/Index

Featured Resources

Check out Lisa Maurizio's interview with OUP here: http://gabhe-ushemarketing.s3.amazonaws.com/Leigh%20Ann/Maurizio_Conversation_8x8_hr.pdf.

Check out a review of Maurizio's book here:
http://classicsforall.org.uk/book-reviews/classical-mythology-context/.

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