From Ikaria to the Stars
Classical Mythification, Ancient and Modern
348 Pages, 6.00 x 9.00 in
Sales Date: July 1, 2004
"I hadn't, till I really started digging, gauged the fierce intensity of the need for myth in the human psyche, of any age, or sensed the variety of motives dictating that need," writes Peter Green in the introduction to this wide-ranging collection of essays on classical mythology and the mythic experience. Using the need for myth as the starting point for exploring a number of topics in Greek mythology and history, Green advances new ideas about why the human urge to make myths persists across the millennia and why the borderland between mythology and history can sometimes be hard to map.
Green looks at both specific problems in classical mythology and larger theoretical issues. His explorations underscore how mythic expression opens a door into non-rational and quasi-rational modes of thought in which it becomes possible to rewrite painful truths and unacceptable history—which is, Green argues, a dangerous enterprise. His study of the intersections between classical mythology and Greek history ultimately drives home a larger point, "the degree of mythification and deception (of oneself no less than of others) of which the human mind is capable."
Green presents to historians, philosophers, and students of literature generally the reflections of a robust, generous, wonderfully learned, opinionated, personally involved, unfailingly interesting monitor of western civilization past and present.~Alan L. Boegehold
- 1. "These Fragments Have I Shored against My Ruins": Apollonius Rhodius and the Social Revalidation of Myth for a New Age
- 2. The Flight-Plan of Daedalus
- 3. Works and Days 1-285: Hesiod's Invisible Audience
- 4. Athenian History and Historians in the Fifth Century B.C.
- 5. The Metamorphosis of the Barbarian: Athenian Panhellenism in a Changing World
- 6. Text and Context in the Matter of Xenophon's Exile
- 7. Rebooking the Flute-Girls: A Fresh Look at the Chronological Evidence for the Fall of Athens and the Eight-Month Rule of the Thirty
- 8. A Variety of Greek Appetites
- 9. Alexander's Alexandria
- 10. The Muses' Birdcage, Then and Now
- 11. How Political Was the Stoa?
- 12. Ancient Ethics, Modern Therapy
- 13. Getting to Be a Star: The Politics of Catasterism
- 14. The Innocence of Procris: Ovid A.A. 3. 687-746
- 15. Magic and the Principle of Apparent Causality in Pliny's Natural History
- Appendix A. Tanglewood Tales for the Yuppies
- Appendix B. Homer for the Kiddies
The publication of From Ikaria to the Stars was made possible by the support of the Classics and the Ancient World Endowment (NEH).