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Greek Mythology, Lecture 1

Greek Mythology, Lecture 1 - Greek Mythology Greek...

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Unformatted text preview: Greek Mythology Greek Mythology 8/28/2008 Why study Greek Mythology in Why study Greek Mythology in the 21st Century? Greek Myths in YOUR everyday life: • Greek myths in the night sky • Greek myths in the English language (e.g., “thersitical” and “Achilles’ heel”) Greek Myths in American Greek Myths in American Popular Culture Greek Myths in Western Lit. Greek Myths in Western Lit. Greek Myths and Modern Greek Myths and Modern Psychology/Psychiatry • Freud and the Oedipus Complex • Jonathan Shay – Greek mythical heroes and PTSD (Achilles in Vietnam) Myth and History Myth and History or Myth vs. History? • No clear separation b/w myth and history in the Greek mind • More than one version can exist of each myth • Propoganda: influence of historical events on transmission and evolution of myth What is Mythology? What is Mythology? What is a Myth? • Mythology = mythos + logos the study of myths • What does “myth” mean in modern English? • What did “mythos” mean in Ancient Greek? Myth: Modern Definitions Myth: Modern Definitions • Webster gives 4 meanings. 1a: A traditional story of ostensibly historican events that serves to unfold part of the world view of a people or explain a practice, belief, or natural phenomenon 2b: An unfounded or false notion 3. A person or thing having only an imaginary or unverifiable existence. Myth as Falsehood Myth as Falsehood • “That’s a myth!” • The myth of Echinacea Roland Barthes and Modern Roland Barthes and Modern Myths • The Myth of the Steak and the Fries • The Myth of the Novel Writers (“Romans et Enfants”) • Myth = symbol in modern society • A myth can be a person or an object Mythos and Logos: Mythos and Logos: Greek Definitions • Mythos – word or speech, a story that is • • transmitted by oral tradition Logos – account/story Plato: first to draw clear distinction between mythos (just a story) and logos (an account that accords with reason and truth) Organization of the Course Organization of the Course • Survey of cultural background • Myths of origins of the world, gods, and institutions/civilization • Myths establishing relationships between men and gods • Myths of heroes • War and its aftermath in Greek mythology ...
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