Brill’s New Pauly Supplements I - Volume 4 : The Reception of Myth and Mythology

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Subject: Classical Studies

Edited by: Maria Moog-Grünewald
The Reception of Myth and Mythology highlights the routes and works through which the myths of Greece and Rome have passed into the cultural memory of Europe over the centuries, into its literature, music and art and its reflections on aesthetics and philosophy.

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Pan

(4,210 words)

Author(s): Robert, Jörg
(Πᾶν; Latin Pan) A. Myth P. was originally an Arcadian god of shepherds and nature. He has theriomorphic traits (human shape, but the legs, feet and horns of a he-goat) [4]. His realm is wild nature, through which he courses as a restless hunter, singing and dancing in the company of nymphs. A son of Hermes and Dryope, he is “goat-footed, two-horned, noise-loving, sweetly laughing” (Hom. H. 19,2f.; other sources differ, giving his father as Zeus, Apollo or Kronos). P.’s sphere of influence and activi…

Pandora

(4,343 words)

Author(s): Harst, Joachim | Schmid, Tobias
(Πανδώρα [ Pandṓra]; Latin Pandora) A. Myth The telling of the myth of P. that forms the basis for all reception is that by Hesiod, who gives it with that of Prometheus (Hes. Erg. 42–101). To begin with, the gods have hidden the life-force ( bios) from mankind, thus condemning mortals to a life of toil. Hesiod now recounts how Prometheus brings fire to man by stealing it from Zeus. But the father of the gods takes revenge by sending mortals an evil they would desire as a good (Hes. Erg. 54–58). Zeus then has Hephaestus make a woman out of…

Paris

(3,789 words)

Author(s): Schneider, Steffen
(Πάρις [ Páris], also Ἀλέξανδρος [ Aléxandros]; Latin Paris, Alexander) A. Myth P. is the son of Priam, king of Troy, and Hecabe. A dream of Hecabe promises Troy ruin caused by P., for which reason he is taken into the mountains and exposed (Apollod. 3,12,5). According to Hyg. Fab. 91 he was to be killed, but the slaves entrusted with the job let him live. He is found by shepherds and given the name Alexander (‘defender of men’), after fighting off robbers (Apollod. 3,12,5). According to Hyginus (Hyg. Fab. …

Penthesilea

(3,384 words)

Author(s): Greiner, Bernhard
(Πενθεσίλεια [ Penthesíleia]; Latin Penthesilea, Etruscan Pentasila) A. Myth P., an Amazon, daughter of Otrere and Ares, appears in the Trojan War amid a horde of Amazons, either seeking renown and hoping to win the right to a man through excellence in battle, or (the more frequent variant) to expiate a blood debt incurred by accidentally killing Priam’s sister Hippolyta. After the death of Hector, P. enters the fray and kills many Greeks, but finally Achilles faces her; he defeats and kills her. As he d…

Persephone

(3,072 words)

Author(s): Hinz, Berthold
(Περσεφόνη [ Persephónē], Περσεφόνεια [ Persephóneia], Περσέφαττα [ Perséphatta], Κόρη [ Kórē]; Latin Proserpina) A. Myth P. (or Kore, ‘girl, daughter’), daughter of Zeus and Demeter, is inseparably associated with her mother, being as it were her younger incarnation, so much so that the two are sometimes known as the ‘ Demetres’. Together, they embody the ever-regenerating seasonal vegetation and the growth of grain. ¶ The myth as it survives to this day is already essentially formulated in the Homeric Hymn to Demeter (late 7th cent. BC): P., who with her fr…

Perseus

(2,203 words)

Author(s): Mergenthaler, Volker
(Περσεύς [ Perseús]; Latin Perseus) A. Myth P. is important in mythology by virtue of his descent, his decapitation of the Gorgon Medusa and his deeds, mostly accomplished with the help of the said severed head (the ‘Gorgoneion’). The starting-point for the myth of P. is a prophecy according to which Acrisius, king of Argos, learns that he will die at the hands of a son of his daughter, Danae. Acrisius responds by incarcerating Danae to avert this fate. But Zeus turns to golden rain and succeeds in reaching her and fathering P. Acri…