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The book examines popular erotic myths with regard to their origins and literary treatment throughout antiquity. The relation of ritual to certain mythic patterns that reflect initiation rites is also considered. The myths are chosen so to form a narrative sequence but also as an example of how mythic patterns can be variously manipulated in literature. The first two chapters study the myths of Atalanta and of Daphnis (in Theocritus) and comment on literary metaphors for "falling in love". The influence of ritual and particularly of Near Eastern cults in the formation and the subtext of these metaphors is indicated. The nature of Latin Elegy and of Greek pastoral is analyzed based on fundamental metaphors that poets might have used as the bedrock of their work. The following three chapters deal with the Vergilian project in the Eclogues and the Georgics: in his Eclogues, Vergil envisioned a second Golden Age, beyond the suffering of civil strife; based on teleology rites like the Orphic and the Eleusinian mysteries, he ascribed to Daphnis the civilizing force of Orpheus. Thus, he attributed to the pastoral ideal the philosophical depth and credence of ancient religions. Mythical allusions to the primal Golden Age and Arcadia were designed to outline the role of love and poetry in the New Agricultural Age. In the fourth book of the Georgics the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice was interwoven with that of Aristaeus to denote the rebirth of the Golden Age under the Jovian theodicy. Vergil returned to ancient rites in which the initiate was perceived as 'dying' before being resurrected to a new stage of existence. In this light Aristaeus and Orpheus are equated as cultural pioneers rather than opposed. These myths reinforce the association of cult and mythology in literature. Initiation patterns were employed as literary metaphors for falling in love or even for holding a philosophical argument on human progress".
Buy Eros and Ritual in Ancient Literature: Singing of Atalanta, Daphnis and Orpheus (Gorgias Dissertations Classics) by Evangelia Anagnostou-Laoutides from our Christian Books store - isbn: 9781931956727 & 1931956723
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