Greek Mythography in the Roman World (Google eBook)

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Oxford University Press, Aug 6, 2004 - History - 368 pages
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By the Roman age the traditional stories of Greek myth had long since ceased to reflect popular culture. Mythology had become instead a central element in elite culture. If one did not know the stories one would not understand most of the allusions in the poets and orators, classics and contemporaries alike; nor would one be able to identify the scenes represented on the mosaic floors and wall paintings in your cultivated friends' houses, or on the silverware on their tables at dinner. Mythology was no longer imbibed in the nursery; nor could it be simply picked up from the often oblique allusions in the classics. It had to be learned in school, as illustrated by the extraordinary amount of elementary mythological information in the many surviving ancient commentaries on the classics, notably Servius, who offers a mythical story for almost every person, place, and even plant Vergil mentions. Commentators used the classics as pegs on which to hang stories they thought their students should know. A surprisingly large number of mythographic treatises survive from the early empire, and many papyrus fragments from lost works prove that they were in common use. In addition, author Alan Cameron identifies a hitherto unrecognized type of aid to the reading of Greek and Latin classical and classicizing texts--what might be called mythographic companions to learned poets such as Aratus, Callimachus, Vergil, and Ovid, complete with source references. Much of this book is devoted to an analysis of the importance evidently attached to citing classical sources for mythical stories, the clearest proof that they were now a part of learned culture. So central were these source references that the more unscrupulous faked them, sometimes on the grand scale.
  

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Contents

Chapter 1 An Anonymous Ancient Commentary on Ovids Metamorphoses?
3
Chapter 2 The Greek Sources of Hyginus and Narrator
33
Chapter 3 Mythological Summaries and Companions
52
Chapter 4 Narrator and His Greek Predecessors
70
Chapter 5 Historiae and Source References
89
Chapter 6 Bogus Citations
124
Chapter 7 Myth in the Margins
164
Chapter 8 Mythographus Vergilianus
184
Chapter 11 Conclusion
304
Appendix 1 Lactantius Placidus
313
Appendix 2 Three Versions of Hyginus
317
Appendix 3 The Text of the Narrationes
319
Appendix 4 Marginal Source Citations in Parthenius and Antoninus Liberalis
321
Appendix 5 Source Citations in the Origo Gentis Romanae
328
Appendix 6 Anonymus Florentinus
335
Index
341

Chapter 9 Myth and Society
217
Chapter 10 The Roman Poets
253

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