The Myth of the Birth of the Hero: A Psychological Interpretation of Mythology

By Otto Rank; F. Robbins et al. | Go to book overview

as the prize for the victor in the combats arranged in commemoration of Paris. They selected a bull which Paris valued so highly that he followed the men who led the beast away, assisted in the combats, and won the prize. This aroused the anger of his brother Deiphobos, who threatened him with his sword, but his sister Kassandra recognized him as her brother, and Priamos joyfully received him as his son. The misfortune which Paris later on brought to his family and his native city, through the abduction of Helena, is well known from Homer's poems, as well as their predecessors and successors, their prologue and epilogue.

A certain resemblance with the story of the birth of Paris is presented by the poem of Zal, in Firdusi's Persian hero-myths (translated by Schack). The first son is born to Sam, king of Sistan, by one of his consorts. Because he had white hair, his mother concealed the birth. But the nurse reveals the birth of his son to the king. Sam is disappointed, and commands that the child be exposed. The servants carry it on the top of Mount Alburs, where it is raised by the Somurgh, a powerful bird. The full grown youth is seen by a travelling caravan, whose members speak of him "as whose nurse a bird is sufficient." King Sam once sees his son in a dream, and sallies forth to seek the exposed child. He is unable to reach the summit of the elevated rock where he finally espies the youth. But the Somurgh bears his son down to him, he receives him joyfully and nominates him as his successor.


TELEPHOS

Aleos, King of Tegea, was informed by the oracle that his sons would perish through a descendant of his daughter. He therefore made his daughter Auge a priestess of the goddess Athene, and threatened her with death should she mate with a man. But when Herakles dwelt as a guest in the sanctuary of Athene, on his expedition against Augias, he saw the maiden, and when intoxicated he raped her. When Aleos became aware of her pregnancy, he delivered her to Nauplios, a rough sailor, with

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The Myth of the Birth of the Hero: A Psychological Interpretation of Mythology
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page i
  • Nervous and Mental Disease Monograph Series ii
  • Table of Contents iii
  • Introduction 1
  • Sargon 12
  • Moses 14
  • Karna 16
  • Œdipus 18
  • Paris 21
  • Telephos 22
  • Perseus 23
  • Gilgamos 24
  • Tristan 39
  • Romulus. 41
  • Hercules 45
  • Siegfried 54
  • Lohengrin 56
  • Index 95
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