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Rationalizing Myth in Antiquity$
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Greta Hawes

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199672776

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199672776.001.0001

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Conon. Diegeseis

Conon. Diegeseis

(p.133) 4 Conon. Diegeseis
Rationalizing Myth in Antiquity

Greta Hawes

Oxford University Press

Three passages from Conon’s Diegeseis show the appeal of rationalistic interpretation within a mythographic text. In this context, such non-standard versions of the canonical stories of Midas, Andromeda, and Cadmus provide Conon with an opportunity to indulge in unconventional narratives. He presents these rationalizations in a quite unusual ‘double narrative’ which sets him apart from other ancient rationalisers. The search for Conon’s sources is both fruitless and perhaps misguided. Nonetheless, his rationalizations are in keeping with broader patterns prevalent in Greek myth, in that the stories rationalized are well-known ones from tragedy featuring mythic founders.

Keywords:   Greek myth, rationalization, Conon, mythography, Midas, Andromeda, Cadmus, tragedy

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