This book analyzes the relationships between Athenian myths and the institutions that informed them. In particular, it examines how myths encode thoughts on ritual, the code of the warrior, marriage, and politics. Combining traditional historical and literary criticism with the approaches of anthropologists, feminist critics, and cultural historians, the authors study specific examples of the epic and tragedy, as well as funeral orations and the Parthenon marbles, to illuminate the ways mythic media exploited the beliefs, concepts, and practices of fifth-century Athens, simultaneously exemplifying and shaping that culture.
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