Myth, Mythology, and Mythography

Jan N. Bremmer

in The Oxford Handbook of Hellenic Studies

Published in print August 2009 | ISBN: 9780199286140
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Classics and Ancient History

 Myth, Mythology, and Mythography

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  • Classical Studies
  • Ancient Greek History
  • Religion in the Ancient World


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This article examines traditions through which members of a society achieve or express identity via myth, mythology, and mythography. It is no exaggeration to state that myths are the best-known parts of Greek antiquity today. In a brief survey, it is impossible to treat the whole subject of myth. The discussion here instead focuses on some observations on the origin, production, and function of myth; its relation to ritual; its transformation and marginalization in the course of the archaic and classical periods; its fossilization and function in the Roman/Hellenistic period; and its study in modern times.

Keywords: social identity; cultural identity; Greek myths; Greek antiquity; Hellenistic period; classical period

Article.  4241 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; Ancient Greek History ; Religion in the Ancient World

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