Download Kinship Myth in Ancient Greece by Lee E. Patterson PDF

By Lee E. Patterson

In old Greece, interstate kin, comparable to within the formation of alliances, demands suggestions, exchanges of citizenshi, and territorial conquest, have been frequently grounded in legendary kinship. In those situations, the typical ancestor used to be in most cases a mythical determine from whom either groups claimed descent. during this distinctive research, Lee E. Patterson elevates the present country of analysis on kinship fable to a attention of the position it performs within the building of political and cultural id. He attracts examples either from the literary and epigraphical files and exhibits the basic distinction among the 2. He additionally expands his learn into the query of Greek credulityohow a lot of those founding myths did they really think and what sort of was once only a beneficial fiction for diplomatic kin? Of critical significance is the authority the Greeks gave to fable, no matter if to complex narratives or to an easy acknowledgment of an ancestor. such a lot Greeks may perhaps easily settle for ties of interstate kinship even if neighborhood foundation narratives couldn't be reconciled easily or while myths used to give an explanation for the hyperlink among groups have been merely "discovered" upon the particular get together of international relations, simply because such claims were given authority within the collective reminiscence of the Greeks.

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52 More recent efforts have not gone much further than Musti and Robert in establishing the applicability of the terms or, to put it another way, the attitudes of the Greeks who used them. 53 Stephan Lücke, however, has criticized the methodologies and premises of his predecessors, especially Elwyn and Curty, asserting that the issue is not the precise meanings of these Greek words but the extent to which the Greeks, in their assertions of linkage or commonality, embraced the concept of consanguinity (“Blutsverwandtschaft”) in the first place.

And so Glaucus and Diomedes decide to put their immediate obligations aside and, in stark contrast to the heroic code of claiming the enemy’s armor as a war prize to denote one’s honor, actually exchange their armor, which have become gifts of xenia (Il. 119–236). In other words, they have put this personal bond ahead of the exigencies of war, acknowledging that in a context more important than the immediate one they are not enemies at all. The scene demonstrates how it could be possible for there to be personal bonds between distant parties in the most unlikely circumstances.

Other more pragmatic factors were clearly at work in some cases and may also lurk unspoken in our sources of others. For instance, when Alexander cowed the Thessalians into submission following their abortive attempt to throw off the Macedonian yoke, he need not have resorted to myth. His overwhelming forces were certainly enough to convince them to behave. 55 Myth often served a useful purpose even in situations in which it was not called for. Whatever the final means of persuasion, kinship myth allowed two states to transform the nature of their relationship, to make the transaction more agreeable.

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