Myth and the Polis

Myth and the Polis

This fresh and thought-provoking book deepens our understanding of the dynamic relationship between the creation of myth and the development of the ancient Greek polis, or city-state, during crucial periods in archaic and classical Greece. Examining the diverse texts which crystallized Greek oral tradition, nine chapters by a multidisciplinary group of scholars focus both on the role of the community as the shaper and transmitter of myth and on the function of myth and ritual in the development of political authority in Greek society.

Myth and the Polis draws upon current research in such fields such as ancient history, philology, social anthropology, ethnomusicology, comparative literature, psychoanalysis, folklore, and political theory. Taken together, the essays highlight the continuos struggle of Greek archaic and classical communities to keep their myths "true" in spite of the pull of pan-Hellenism.

Shedding new light on the beginnings of Western civilization, Myth and the Polis will be of interest to a wide range of readers, including scholars and students of classics, folklore, myth, and ancient religion, politics, and history.