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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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The Western Middle Ages

The Western Middle Ages

(p.126) EIGHT The Western Middle Ages
How Philosophers Saved Myths
University of Chicago Press

This chapter provides a description about the Western Middle Ages that went through changes under the influence of various interpretations and currents of thought that made their survival possible. During the course of the Middle Ages Greco-Roman mythology survived on several levels, especially the level of folklore, art, and classical culture. During the Middle Ages also the gods of antiquity survived in classical culture and the fine arts by virtue of interpretations of their origin, names, and nature that had been developed during the classical age. Myth interpretation is grouped into three forms of Stoic inspiration, that is, euhemerism, physical interpretation, and moral interpretation, all of which were practiced during the Middle Ages. By the end of the Middle Ages, the two traditions of the visual and the literary led to a profound alteration of the classical forms of the gods.

Keywords:   Western Middle Ages, Greco-Roman mythology, gods, myth, traditions, visual, literary

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