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Papers from the Norwegian Institute at Athens


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  Book:
  PNA7

Myth and Symbol II. Symbolic Phenomena in Ancient Greek Culture.

Book illustration

Editor: Synnöve des Bouvrie

Content:

The papers offered in the present volume are the result of two symposia held at the Norwegian Institute at Athens:
The second International Symposium on Myth & Symbol. Cognitive and Affective Aspects of Symbols in Ancient Culture,Athens, September 21-24, 2000
and
The Third international symposium on Myth & symbol. Their occasions, audiences, and performance in Ancient Greek Culture, Athens, September 19-22, 2002.

As a follow up to the first International Symposium on Myth & Symbol, which was held at Tromsø 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 categorising 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 mobilising 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?


Hard cover. 391 pages. Price: 33.90 USD.
Printed in Bergen 2005. ISBN: 978-82-91626-22-2.

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