The Hero and the Sea: Patterns of Chaos in Ancient Myth

Synopsis

Ancient myths about watery chaos uniquely transcend time and culture to speak to the universal human condition as expression to the hopes, aspirations and fears that have defined--for ancient thinkers as well as modern scientists--what it means to be human in a chaotic world. "The Hero and the Sea examines the mythological pattern of heroic battles with watery chaos in the "Gilgamesh Epic, the "Iliad, the "Odyssey, and the Old Testament, in the light of anthropology, comparative religion, literature, mythology, psychology, and modern chaos theory; how mythic patterns of heroic battle with chaotic adversaries respond to the cultural needs, religious concerns, and worldview of their audience. The last chapter explores points of contact between the ancient mythic patterns and the discoveries of modern scholars engaged in the theoretical study of chaos and chaotics.