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How Philosophers Saved MythsAllegorical Interpretation and Classical Mythology$
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Luc Brisson

Print publication date: 2004

Print ISBN-13: 9780226075358

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226075389.001.0001

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Introduction

Introduction

Chapter:
(p.1) Introduction
Source:
How Philosophers Saved Myths
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226075389.003.0001

This book describes the protection of myth saved by allegory, which was not eliminated by historians, philosophers, and theologians, but which made it possible to associate the most scandalous of narratives and bizarre details to deep truths. During the period when writing made its appearance, myth came into the picture only when it underwent a drastic assessment by the first historians and especially the first philosophers. Plato rejected allegory, though he did not abandon myth, but it was practiced by Aristotle with self-discipline and caution. Allegory enabled the constant adaptation and interpretation of myths to fit the context in which they were received. Thus, allegory made it possible for myths to survive.

Keywords:   myth, allegory, historians, philosophers, narratives

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