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Myth, Literature, and the Creation of the Topography of Thebes


  • Date Published: November 2018
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107434363

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About the Authors
  • How does a city's legendary past affect its present? Thebes remains a city with one of the richest traditions of myth in all of Greece - it was the home of Cadmus, Oedipus, and Hercules, and the traditional birthplace of Dionysus. The city's topography, both natural and built, very often plays a significant role in its myths. By focusing on Greek literature ranging from the oral epics to the travel writing of the Roman Empire, this book explores the relationship between the city's spaces as they were represented in the Greek literary tradition and the physical realities of a developing city that had been continuously inhabited since at least the second millennium BC. Spurred on especially by the city's catastrophic sack by Alexander the Great in 335 BC, the urban topography of Thebes came more and more to reflect the literary, even fictional, constructions of its mythic past.

    • Examines comprehensively the representation of a single, hugely important Greek city in literature and myth
    • Incorporates and brings into productive dialogue both close literary study and the interpretation of archaeological evidence
    • Engages with current theories of space and place, appealing to readers with an interest in geography, urban studies, and urban topography in all periods
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    Product details

    • Date Published: November 2018
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107434363
    • length: 200 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 150 x 10 mm
    • weight: 0.3kg
    • contains: 6 maps 1 table
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    Introduction: constructing a city
    1. Epic Thebes
    2. Lyric Thebes
    3. Thebes on stage
    4. Thebes of the library
    5. The creation of Theban topography

  • Author

    Daniel W. Berman, Temple University, Philadelphia
    Daniel W. Berman is Associate Professor of Greek and Roman Classics at Temple University, Philadelphia. He has published articles on Aeschylus, the city of Thebes, the Dirce spring, the Boeotian poetess Corinna, and related subjects. His first monograph, Myth and Culture in Aeschylus' Seven against Thebes, was published in 2007, and he is the translator from French of a book by Claude Calame, Myth and History in Ancient Greece: The Symbolic Creation of a Colony (2003).

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