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Women & WeaselsMythologies of Birth in Ancient Greece and Rome$
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Maurizio Bettini and Emlyn Eisenach

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780226044743

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226039961.001.0001

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The Resolution

The Resolution

Chapter:
(p.83) [6] The Resolution
Source:
Women & Weasels
Author(s):

Maurizio Bettini

Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226039961.003.0007

There are two main versions of the Resolution of Alcmene's story. In some versions, a young woman (Historis, Galanthis, Galinthias, Akalanthis) tricks Alcmene's Enemies by making them think that Alcmene has already managed to give birth; in other versions, a weasel runs by Alcmene, or simply passes next to her, thus allowing her to deliver her child. The first type of story depends on a trick, a ruse. The second type relies on the rather obscure powers that are unleashed when an animal runs by the woman in labor, in which case the Resolution is somehow embodied in the animal itself. This chapter focuses on the first type of story, based on the lying, or false, message.

Keywords:   Alcmene, lying, lies, false message, childbirth

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