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Gender and Immortality: Heroines in Ancient Greek Myth and Cult

eBooks - Social Science
September 09 2007

 Gender and Immortality: Heroines in Ancient Greek Myth and Cult, Asiaing.comIn recent years, the topic of ancient Greek hero cult has been the focus of considerable discussion among classicists. Little attention, however, has been paid to female heroized figures. Here Deborah Lyons argues for the heroine as a distinct category in ancient Greek religious ideology and daily practice. The heroine, she believes, must be located within a network of relations between male and female, mortal and immortal. Using evidence ranging from Homeric epic to Attic vase painting to ancient travel writing, she attempts to re-integrate the feminine into our picture of Greek notions of the hero.

According to Lyons, heroines differ from male heroes in several crucial ways, among which is the ability to cross the boundaries between mortal and immortal. She further shows that attention to heroines clarifies fundamental Greek ideas of mortal/immortal relationships.

The book first discusses heroines both in relation to heroes and as a separate religious and mythic phenomenon. It examines the cultural meanings of heroines in ritual and representation, their use as examples for mortals, and their typical "biographies." The model of "ritual antagonism," in which two mythic figures represented as hostile share a cult, is ultimately modified through an exploration of the mythic correspondences between the god Dionysos and the heroines surrounding him, and through a rethinking of the relationship between Iphigeneia and Artemis. An appendix, which identifies more than five hundred heroines, rounds out this lively work.

Read Full Book: Gender and Immortality Online

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By by Deborah J. Lyons (Author), published by Princeton University Press, 1996.

Table of Contents:

List of Illustrations ix
Acknowledgments xi
Note to the Reader xiii
Abbreviations xv
Introduction 3
Chapter One Heroines and Heroes 7
Chapter Two Heroines and Mortals 35
Chapter Three Mortals and Immortals 69
Chapter Four Dionysiac Heroines 103
Chapter Five The Goddess and Her Doubles 134
Appendix: Mythic Female Cult-Founders 169
Conclusion 171
Appendix A Catalogue of Heroines 173
Bibliography 237
Index Locorum 255
General Index 261


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Last Updated ( September 09 2007 )
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