Classical Mythology, Day 22

In this class we turn from the interaction between myth and religious belief to intellectual and philosophical responses and adaptations. We spent some time discussing the so-called “rationalizing revolution” in Archaic Greece and the subsequent tradition of philosophers criticizing and appropriating myth. After looking at the use of myth in Plato, we will turn to Hellenistic receptions.

Ancient Authors Discussed

Homer, Archaic Age

Pherecydes, Early Classical Period

Plato, Classical Period

Aristotle, Classical period

Palaephatus, Hellenistic Period

Euhemerus, Hellenistic Period

Callimachus,Hellenistic Period

Theocritus, Hellenistic Period

Apollonius Rhodes, Hellenistic Period

Vergil, Roman Republican Period

Ovid, Roman Imperial Period


Some Suggested Course Texts

Ovid, Metamorphoses 1: Pythagoras

Ovid, Metamorphoses 10: Pygmalion

Ovid, Met. 6: Tereus and Philomela

Ovid, Met. 10: Myrrha and Cinyras

Ovid Met. 10: Adonis

Plato Republic, On the Iliad 378-390

F. M. Cornford. Before and After Socrates. Cambridge


Rationalizing Revolution





Links to Blogposts

Pythagoras and his Mom

Pythagoras and Healing Music

Some Philosophies from the Ancient World

On the Origins of Philosophy

Stories Shape the Mind

Strabo on Children and Storytelling

Other Articles for Additional Reading


Similar Myths



Student Links

The Death of Socrates:


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