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The Anatomy of Myth: The Art of Interpretation from the Presocratics to the Church Fathers

Michael Herren


This book is a comprehensive study of the methods of interpreting myths developed by the Greeks, adopted by the Romans, and passed on to Jewish and Christian interpreters of the Bible. Methods of interpretation are closely related to developments in Greek philosophy from the Presocratics to the Neoplatonists. Most Greeks viewed myths as the creation of poets, especially Homer and Hesiod, or else as an ancient revelation corrupted by them. In the first instance, critics sought in the intention of the authors some deeper truth, whether physical or spiritual; in the second, they deemed it necessa ... More

Keywords: myths, interpretation, poetic intention, logos, allegory, literalism, Homer, Hesiod

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780190606695
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2017 DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190606695.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Michael Herren, author
Lecturer at York University and the University of Toronto