Myth & Symbol II
Symbolic Phenomena in Ancient Greek Culture
Papers from the Norwegian Institute at Athens, No. 7
[In English & French]

Edited by Synnove Des Bouvrie
December 2004
Paul Astroms Forlag
ISBN: 8291626227
391 pages, Illustrated, 7” x 9 ¾”
$87.50 Paper Original

The papers offered in the present volume are the result of two symposia held at the Norwegian Institute at Athens. As a follow up to the first International Symposium on Myth & Symbol, which was held at Tromso University in June 1998 and studied general issues, the themes of these papers are more specific. Myths and symbols are present in a wide range of contexts and forms in Ancient culture, in overt religious and in ‘secular’ manifestations, in texts, images and ritual.

Some symbolic phenomena seem to contribute to categorizing and structuring the world, thus offering a view of the normal and natural order of things. Other seem to have (had) an affective quality endowing concepts with value, functioning rather as affective stimuli charged with mobilizing power. Is there a clear cut division between the two?

Other lines of inquiry are: How do we conceive of the occasion when symbols have been installed, inaugurated or presented, to whom were they directed and how did the performance occur? Myths and symbols are not just insulated expressions carrying a perennial meaning to be found within the phenomena. They rather derive their cultural meaning and power from the listening, viewing and applauding community. Should we conceive of the community inspiring the artist to tell and imagine as they desire? Were the same symbols continued in the next generations and how did their meanings fare in new contexts and among different audiences?

Ancient History

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