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Myths of the Underworld Journey
Plato, Aristophanes, and the 'Orphic' Gold Tablets

$47.99 (C)

  • Date Published: September 2012
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107407305

$ 47.99 (C)

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About the Authors
  • 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.

    • Detailed studies of three different types of texts: Plato's Phaedo (philosophic), Aristophanes' Frogs (comedy), Orphic gold tablets (burial)
    • Study of the nature of myth in ancient Greece by comparison of different tellings of the tale
    • Study of traditional Greek mythic ideas of the afterlife and the realm of the dead
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Relying on the best current scholarship, Edmonds examines ancient Greek stories about journeys to the land of the dead." CHOICE May 2005

    "Not only does Radcliffe Edomonds offer interesting asnwers to long-standing problems; he also illustrates the advantage of combining an analytic method with a synthetic one. In addition to analytically concentrating on concrete distinctions, he perceives patterns and similarities found at an abstract level." - Synnove Des Bouvrie, University of Tromso

    "solid, interesting and helpful insights" - Jon Steffen Bruss

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    Product details

    • Date Published: September 2012
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107407305
    • length: 292 pages
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 15 mm
    • weight: 0.39kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: the start of the journey
    2. Roadmaps of déviance: the 'Orphic' gold tablets
    3. Descent into the depths of comedy: The Frogs of Aristophanes
    4. The upward path of philosophy: the myth in Plato's Phaedo
    5. Conclusions: the end of the road.

  • Author

    Radcliffe G. Edmonds, III, Bryn Mawr College, Pennsylvania

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