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Robert Graves and the Classical Tradition$
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A. G. G. Gibson

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780198738053

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198738053.001.0001

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Robert Graves’s The Greek Myths and Matriarchy

Robert Graves’s The Greek Myths and Matriarchy

Chapter:
(p.164) (p.165) 8 Robert Graves’s The Greek Myths and Matriarchy
Source:
Robert Graves and the Classical Tradition
Author(s):

Sibylle Ihm

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198738053.003.0009

The chapter discusses Robert Graves’s book The Greek Myths and his approach to Greek religion. In Graves’s opinion, all Greek myth deals with a universal female figure. She is seen as the goddess of a matriarchal cult, where all male figures are sacred kings. They are put to death after a brief reign. The essay analyses examples from the book and contrasts them with current and mainstream works on Greek religion and mythology. The essay explains Graves’s beliefs and interpretations, and considers the scientific discussion about matriarchy and gynaecocracy. Finally, it looks at modern feminist literature which is partly based on Graves’s beliefs.

Keywords:   matriarchy, sacred king, Greek myth, goddess, cult, mother-right, gynaecocracy, feminism

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