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Tradition and ImaginationRevelation and Change$
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David Brown

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780198269915

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: November 2003

DOI: 10.1093/0198269919.001.0001

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Heroic Transformations in the Classical World

Heroic Transformations in the Classical World

(p.171) 4 Heroic Transformations in the Classical World
Tradition and Imagination

David Brown (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The first part of the chapter examines the nature of Greek religion, and argues that it should be treated seriously as a religion, one which through changing versions of its myths sought to conceptualise personal or societal changes in perceptions of how the divine was understood. Differing treatments of Odysseus are then used to anticipate the discussion of Abraham in the chapter that follows; Iphigenia that of Isaac, and Helen and Ganymede that of Joseph. The way in which earlier Christian generations understood Greek myth as also revelatory is used to challenge the narrower view that is dominant today.

Keywords:   classical world, Ganymede, Greek myth, Helen, Iphigenia, Odysseus

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