Prometheus: Archetypal Image of Human Existence

Prometheus: Archetypal Image of Human Existence

Prometheus: Archetypal Image of Human Existence

Prometheus: Archetypal Image of Human Existence

Excerpt

The present essay, like others of my books, particularly those devoted to the retelling of Greek mythology, The Gods of the Greeks and The Heroes of the Greeks, emphasizes the mythological aspect of Greek religion. But Archetypal Images in Greek Religion, the series of monographs of which this essay is the first, puts greater emphasis on a dimension that was treated only implicitly in the above-mentioned works. These were "an experimental attempt to translate the mythology of the Greeks back, to some extent at least, into its original medium, into mythological storytelling." Storytelling moves in the dimension of language, of the "word," as the Greek tongue stresses by terming this particular kind of narrative, dealing largely with the gods and heroes, mythos, "word," and mythología, "storytelling."

But "word" and "storytelling," myth and mythology, have their full meaning only in the broader dimension of existence as a whole, of Greek existence in the case of Greek mythology. Moreover, thanks to their form as stories, the myths--whether committed to writing or not--were a part of Greek literature. As works of literature, they were studied chiefly by classical scholars and, as rendered in works of art, by classical archaeologists. The aim I have in mind is a classical scholarship which through research comes closer to a science of Greek and Roman existence than has formerly been the case. The meaning of the myths, wherever they occur in a living state and not merely as works of literature, has to do with existence. The contention that this

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