Plato, Aristophanes, and the creators of the "Orphic" gold tablets employ the traditional tale of a journey to the realm of the dead to redefine, within the mythic narrative, the boundaries of their societies. Rather than being the relics of a faded ritual tradition or the products of Orphic influence, these myths can only reveal their meanings through this detailed analysis of the specific ways in which each author makes use of the tradition.
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