The Vatican Mythographers
Publication Year: 2008
Published by: Fordham University Press
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In 1831, Angelo Mai, Prefect of the Vatican Library, published three separate Latin compilations of classical myths composed during the Middle Ages. Mai had discovered these in Vatican manuscripts, one of which had once belonged to Christina, the expatriate Queen of Sweden. Only three years later, Georg H. Bode decided to issue a new edition of these three...
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First, I am deeply grateful to the anonymous readers of Fordham University Press for their insightful suggestions and candid assessments of my work. My translation and introduction are better for their input, and they are, of course, absolved of responsibility for any mistakes or infelicities that might remain...
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Since their first appearance together over one hundred and seventy years ago, the Three Vatican Mythographers have been viewed as a single entity. They have been treated collectively in histories and studies of medieval literature, although their individual substance and style have invited closer scrutiny in recent years. Before characterizing each Mythographer...
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After Prometheus created men, he is said to have ascended into the sky with the help of Minerva. With a little torch applied to the Sun’s chariot wheel, he stole fire, which he made known to mankind. Angered by this, the gods sent two evils upon the earth: fevers, that is emaciation, and diseases. Also, with the help of Mercury, they bound Prometheus to a...
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Poets gave a name to fables from fando, ‘‘speaking,’’ since they are not deeds that have been done, but only invented in speech. Thus, they were introduced so that a certain representation of the life of human beings might be recognized in the conversations of imaginary dumb animals among themselves. Tradition has it that Alcmaeon of Croton first...
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There was in Egypt a very rich man named Syrophanes. He had an only-begotten son whom he loved beyond measure. It happened that the son died. Out of excessive feelings of love, the father set up in his house a statue of his son, and while he sought a cure for sorrow, he found rather a seed bed of grief. That statue was called eidolon, which in Latin we call...
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Page Count: 320
Publication Year: 2008