Classical Mythology in English Literature: A Critical Anthology

By Geoffrey Miles | Go to book overview

found a new city; they quarrelled over its rulership, and Romulus killed Remus, becoming the first king of the city he called 'Rome' after himself. At this point, however, the mythical history of the world starts to merge into the real history of Rome.


Notes
1
A wallchart compiled by Robert A. Brooks (1991) sets out a gigantic family tree which includes every significant figure from Gaea and Uranus down to Telemachus and Neoptolemus.
2
This is a rather simplified version of the account given by Hesiod in the Theogony. The pairing of the Titans reflects the marriages between brother and sister.
3
The chronology of these wars is confused: some say Zeus was helped against the Giants by Dionysus and Hercules, who were not born until many generations after the Flood.
4
Originally Philomela was the mute swallow, but the other version has become standard, and 'Philomel' is still a poetic name for the nightingale.
5
Technically, in Greek religion, a 'hero' is defined as a demigod, the son of one divine and one mortal parent. However, I use the word in a looser sense; Jason and Oedipus, both fully human, do not fit the strict definition.
6
An alternative name for him, often used by Shakespeare, is Alcides, after his grandfather Alcaeus.
7
Accounts of the Argonauts' journey vary, and some of these adventures may have taken place on the return trip.
8
Some other versions clear Medea of the murder of her children, saying that they died accidentally when she tried to make them immortal, or that they were killed by the angry people of Corinth.
9
Leda produced four children at a birth (some say in an egg, or a pair of eggs): Helen, her sister Clytemnestra, arid her brothers Castor and Polydeuces/Pollux. It is usually said that Helen and Pollux were the half-divine children of Zeus, and Clytemnestra and Castor the mortal children of Tyndareus. However, the brothers were so devoted to each other that when they both died, Pollux gave up half his immortality to Castor, and they each spent alternate days on Olympus and in the underworld. They are sometimes called the Dioscuri (sons of Zeus) or the Heavenly Twins.

-58-

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Classical Mythology in English Literature: A Critical Anthology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Preface xii
  • Part 1 1
  • 1 - The Myth-Kitty 3
  • Notes 19
  • 2 - A Rough Guide to the Gods 20
  • 3 - A Mythical History of the World in One Chapter 35
  • Notes 58
  • Part 2 59
  • 4 - Orpheus 61
  • Notes 74
  • 5 - Venus and Adonis 196
  • Other Versions of Venus and Adonis 329
  • 6 - Pygmalion 332
  • Notes 345
  • Bibliography 450
  • Index of Mythological Names 453
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