Bernini: Apollo & Daphne


MYTH TOOLS




MODERN MYTHS  ( T — t — f )

Nathan Hale, spy

Our Founding Fathers and Mothers:

           • Betsy Ross and the First American Flag
                    (the demands of real estate and patriotism)

           • George Washington and the Cherry Tree   (a morality tale)
                    Mason Weems, The Life of George Washington for Young People (1800)

           • Nathan Hale (Yale, Class of 1773):   America's First Spy   [right]
                    "I only regret that I have but one life to lose for my country."   ( f )
                       (recruiting patriots for the next conflict)    ( T )

           • George Washington throwing the Silver Dollar across the Potomac
                    (Image building:  superhero)

 

 

HISTORICAL CRITICS

-Hecataeus of Miletus:   "Many are the tales (mythoi) told by the Greeks, and in my view they are laughable."
           • The incompatibility of history and myth  ( T  versus  t )


ETYMOLOGY

The name is the game: the name of a thing contains the essence of the thing.
Knowing the name gives power over the thing.    
Nominalism/Antinomialism.     Magical words (abracadabra, hocus pocus)
    "And God said, "Let there be light".
    "Homer"     "the one who does not see", "the prisoner"
    "Daphne"   'laurel'     (photo above: Apollo and Daphne, Bernini)

[Barry B. Powell, Classical Myth   seventh edition (2011), pp. 68 ('Homer'); 179-181(Apollo and Daphne); 686-688 (etymology); 692; 701-702 (19th century linguistics and solar mythology)]


AETIOLOGY

The Greek word ‘aition’ means ‘cause’. Causes: Why is something the way it is?
e.g. Why are there "Vestal Virgins"? (story of Rhea Silvia)     Why is 'Daphne' Apollo's girlfriend?

[Barry B. Powell, Classical Myth (2011), p. 650-652 (Aeneas in Italy)]

METEOROLOGY

Natural phenomena. e.g. Max Müller: sun (Helios & Phaeton), rain (Zeus), lightning (Cyclopes)

  [Barry B. Powell, Classical Myth (2011), p. 701-702 (solar mythology)]

RITUAL (anthropological theories)

-(Demeter at Eleusis)
    -Sir James Frazer, The Golden Bough     totem
    -Walter Burkert Homo Necans: The Anthropology of Ancient Greek Sacrificial Ritual and Myth : (1972; 1983)


-[Barry B. Powell, Classical Myth (2011), Ch. 10; and pp. 700-701 ]


ICONOGRAPHY

Apollo at Delphi, seated on omphalos "eikon" pictures: mythological stories conveyed by visual means, e.g. on Greek vases, on wall paintings.

At left: Apollo, at Delphi, seated on the sacred stone (the omphalos), his lyre at his knees. He is holding his sacred laurel tree in his hand (Daphne). The sacred tripod is at the left. The coin was issued by the "Amphictyones", the international Board that ran the sanctuary.

 

 

 



Examples:

On the story of "St. Catherine of Alexandria", see: CATHERINE. The Catholic Encyclopedia.
On the story of "St. Christopher", see: CHRISTOPHER. Another: Analysis.


EUHEMERISM


[B. Powell, Classical Myth (2011), p. 688-690]


ANCIENT PHILOSOPHICAL CRITICISM:

-Xenophanes of Colophon: anthropomorphism, ethnocentrism (the Jesus example) and ethnocentrism (the Mary example)

[B. Powell, Classical Myth (2011), pp. 685-686]

MANA

Mana, not manna. Anthopological interpretations. Spiritual ‘electricity’ ( James G. Frazer, The Golden Bough (pp. 699-700);  Bronislaw Malinowski, Magic, Science and Religion (pp. 700-701); H. J. Rose)

[B. Powell, Classical Myth (2011), p. 699-701 ]         Blood and Mana (Torah)

MOTHER GODDESSES

e.g. Robert Graves, The White Goddess;
Marija Gimbutas, The Living Goddesses:   indigenous, Neolithic matrifocal or matriarchal societies; ‘Kurganic’ incursions; ‘rape motifs’

Arthur Evans and Minoan Civilization (the people of Knossos, on the Island of Crete)


TRIPARTITE FUNCTION THEORY

(Indo-European philology: Georges Dumezil, Jaan Puhvel, Emile Durkheim The Division of Labor in Society)

[B. Powell, Classical Myth (2011), p. 702-703; 711 ]

STRUCTURALISM

bipartite theory (‘bipolar opposites’): Claude Lévi-Strauss, Structuralism; The Raw and the Cooked

[B. Powell, Classical Myth (2011), p. 705-707.]


PSYCHOLOGICAL THEORIES:

-Sigmund Freud (Oedipus complex, Electra complex, libido, The Interpretation of Dreams,   Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious,   Civilization and its Discontents)

-Carl Jung (‘racial unconscious’, now called ‘collective unconscious’; animus/anima,   archetypes)

[B. Powell, Classical Myth (2011), p. 703-705.]




Revised 02/08/2012

 

August 30, 2013 7:31 PM

John Paul Adams, CSUN
john.p.adams@csun.edu

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