Myth and Society in Ancient Greece
In this groundbreaking study, Jean Pierre-Vernant delineates a compelling new vision of ancient Greece. Myth and Society in Ancient Greece takes us far from the calm and familiar images of Polykleitos and the Parthenon to reveal a fundamentally other culture one of slavery, of masks and death, of scapegoats, of ritual hunting and ecstasies.
Vernant's provocative discussion of various institutions and practices including war, marriage, and sacrifice details the complex intersection of the religious, social, and political structures of ancient Greece. The book concludes with Vernant's authoritative genealogy of the study of myth from antiquity to structuralism and beyond.
Jean Pierre-Vernant is Professor Emeritus of Comparative Study of Ancient Religions at the Collège de France in Paris. Janet Lloyd is a translator and writer living in England. Distributed for Zone Books.
About the Author
The late Jean-Pierre Vernant was Professor of Comparative Study of Religions at the Collège de France in Paris.
"This scholarly collection of studies follows Vernant's Myth and Thought and Myth and Tragedy, offering further insights into Greek social structure, concepts of slave production and economic growth, and the efforts of myths to define and shape social choices. This is no casual opinion piece: Vernant refers to research from ancient texts, forms concepts of Marxist class struggles, city-state interactions and social reforms from the twin influences of myth and history, and examines the structure of Greek religion and myths as it pertained to historic events... a fascinating, penetrating study."
—Diane C. Donovan, The Midwest Book Review