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Mythological Sources

by: Michelle Miles

Mythological Sources CLAS 2040

Michelle Miles

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About this Document

Introduction to the types of sources we will be analyzing as we discuss Greek mythology in this course.
Greek Mythology
Bradford Hays
Class Notes
Greek, myths, mythology, Sources, Primary, Secondary, Text, Art
25 ?




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This 2 page Class Notes was uploaded by Michelle Miles on Monday February 1, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CLAS 2040 at University of Virginia taught by Bradford Hays in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 11 views. For similar materials see Greek Mythology in Classical Studies at University of Virginia.


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Date Created: 02/01/16
1/27/16  Mythological Sources    ● Primary Source  ○ evidence surviving from antiquity  ○ written text, artwork, archaeological site  ○ may be damaged or fragmentary  ○ requires interpretation  ● Secondary Source  ○ modern  ○ dependent on primary sources  ○ collects, assesses, interprets primary sources  ○ reflects modern prejudices, errors, and assumptions  ● Tertiary Source  ○ based on other secondary sources  ○ no original research (ex. Wikipedia)  ● Books > Web pages ­ because you can find out what the information is based on, sources  ● Poetry  ○ Early epic poetry (Homer, Hesiod)  ○ Lyric poetry (7th­5th c.)  ○ Drama (esp. 5th c. Athenian Tragedy)   ○ Later Greek and Roman Poetry   ● Prose Mythographers and Historians (mostly 2nd c. BC and later)  ○ Apollodorus, ​ The Library ­ prose collection attempting to organize/narrate Greek  mythology/system, more important in our time than in his   ○ Hyginus, ​ Fables ­ Latin chapters summarizing Greek tragedy plots   ○ Antoninus Liberalis, ​Metamorphoses​  ­ collection of myths surrounding  metamorphosis   ○ Diodorus of Sicily, Universal History​ ­ a history book including mythical  characters  ○ Marginal notes (“scholia”) by scribes   ● The Loeb Classical Library ­ facing­page translations of classical works     ● Art   ○ Sculpture  ■ Bronze ­ top of the line material, many lost during shipwrecks but later  discovered, only a handful survived  ■ Marble ­ Roman copies of bronze sculptures, marble allows for mass  reproduction, some differences due to material differences  ○ Painting  ■ most paintings were on wood panels, almost all have been lost  ■ fresco paintings of walls (from the Bronze age, a few later survivals)  ■ painted pottery ­ high survival rate; black figures (earlier form) ­ painted  in black against the blank clay, red figures (later form) ­ background  painted black, figures left as blank red clay   ○ Roman Art (ex. mosaic)  ○ Modern representations of mythical stories and characters    ● Basic Principles  ○ myths often exist in various versions  ○ authors and artists can revise, improve, and alter  ○ the earliest surviving source for a myth is rarely the earliest source  ○ it’s not always easy to identify “late” or “early” versions of a myth  ○ a late or obscure source can preserve early material     


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