In recent posts I’ve been considering whether or not the ancient Greeks believed in their myths. The answer, I suppose, is Well, yes, sort of, but in a complicated way that varied from person to person and situation to situation. In this post I want to look at a more specific question. I’m engaged in … Continue reading What Did Pausanias Believe?
One of the characteristic features of myth is variability. A novel has an author, and the author has the authority to say, “This is my novel, and you can’t change it. You can’t have Elizabeth Bennet run off with Mr. Collins. She marries Mr. Darcy, and that’s it.” A living author has legal rights to … Continue reading Which Version Do You Mean?
In this series of posts I’m mostly interested in exploring what the ancient travel writer Pausanias has to say about local myth and local ritual in ancient Greece, but a number of people have asked me to say something about whether or not the ancient Greeks believed their myths. That’s an interesting question—it’s a question … Continue reading Can You Believe It?
In the last couple of posts I’ve been discussing local myth in ancient Greece, as found in The Guide to Greece, a travel guide written by Pausanias back in the second century AD. I’ve been trying to show that the local version of a myth can be quite different from the Panhellenic version that was … Continue reading Muddy Artemis and Other Tall Tales
In my last post I began to talk about myth and ritual in ancient Greece, and I made a distinction between local myth and ritual on the one hand and Panhellenic myth and ritual on the other. My current project is an investigation of local myth and ritual. A good place to start this investigation … Continue reading Who Killed Medea’s Children?
As I look back over the essays I’ve posted over the last year, I see that I haven’t posted much about Classical Philology per se. That’s odd. Classical Philology is the foundation for most of what I do, even when I talk about modern literature; the method and the manner of my work depend on … Continue reading Local and Panhellenic Myth and Ritual
Happy Birthday, Blog I’ve been running this blog for just a year now—I posted the first essay on July 12, 2020—and I thought this would be an appropriate moment to think (out loud, as it were) about what I’ve been doing and what I might do in the future. I have enjoyed writing and posting … Continue reading Happy Birthday, Blog
In recent posts I’ve been talking about allusions and related devices, such as reference and quotation. Most of the examples I’ve used have come from “high” literature, “serious” literature, but there are interesting instances of allusion and reference and quotation in “popular” literature as well. In this post I’m going to discuss allusions and references … Continue reading Allusion Hunter
In my last couple of posts I’ve been talking about allusions, their virtues and vices, and I thought I would continue that discussion for another post or two. Allusions are only part of the story, however. They are part of a field of related literary phenomena, including also direct references, imitation, influence, and outright plagiarism. … Continue reading Is That Original?
This post is a continuation of my previous post, in which I looked at some allusions. Today I’m going to look at one particular poem and the allusions in it and the kinds of meanings I think are carried by the allusions. The poem I have picked is titled “Words Without a Song”, and it … Continue reading Words Without a Song