Myth and History in Ancient Greece: The Symbolic Creation of a Colony [Review]

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Book Review

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Myth and History in Ancient Greece is certain to burnish Calame's (C.) reputation as one of the world's preeminent scholars of Greek mythology and cultural history. In certain respects, Myth and History can be seen as an outgrowth of and complement to C.'s earlier Le récit en Grèce ancienne: enonciations et représentations de poètes (and of a lengthy article in an anthology on approaches to myth). Both books are first and foremost concerned with methodology, and in both C. seeks to demonstrate how individual 'myths' are fundamentally shaped by the media and other contexts in which they are communicated. Myth and History has some important advantages over Le récit, however, especially for newcomers to C.'s work. Most important is that the latter is a collection of essays written and revised over the space of twenty years, while the former was conceived of as a unified whole, dedicated to comparative analysis of narratives pertaining to the foundation of Cyrene. The author notes that the English translation of the book is in effect "a second, updated, and enlarged edition" of the French original (x). It should now be regarded as the preferred edition of the book for professional scholars as well as for students.


Bryn Mawr College


Bryn Mawr, PA

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Bryn Mawr Classical Review