Biblical and Classical Myths: The Mythological Framework of Western Culture

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University of Toronto Press, 2004 M01 1 - 471 pages

In the 1970s and 80s, Northrop Frye and Jay Macpherson co-taught a very influential course at the University of Toronto's Victoria College on the history of Western mythology - Frye focusing on the biblical myths; Macpherson on the classical. Biblical and Classical Myths recreates the thought behind that course, with Frye's lectures - unpublished until very recently - supplemented by Macpherson's popular 1962 textbook on classical mythology, Four Ages: The Classical Myths.

Frye's lectures on the Bible make up the first half of the book. He expounds on an array of topics, including translations of the bible, sexual imagery, pastoral and agricultural imagery, and law and revolution in the bible. Four Ages makes up the second half. Macpherson narrates the major classical myths from stories of creation to the myths' survival in later European traditions.

By complementing the biblical tradition with the classical, this volume imparts a comprehensive understanding of western mythology. With a preface by Alvin Lee, general editor of the Collected Works of Northrop Frye, Biblical and Classical Myths is an essential volume and represents a unique achievement in scholarship.

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Contents

Foreword
3
202
20
Demonic Parodies and the Hero from across the
81
Exodus and Gospel
91
The Metaphor of Kingship
99
King Priest and Prophet
109
The Question of Primogeniture
117
In the Beginning
132
In The Beginning
279
Pandoras
289
Spring and Winter
296
Loves of the Gods and Metamorphoses
306
Jason and the Golden Fleece
326
The Royal House of Thebes
348
The Tale of Troy
355
The Fall of the City
363

Creating the Sexes
142
Ordering a Society
152
Job and the Question of Tragedy
191
Notes
261
The Bible and Further Readings
267
Foreword
273
The Return of Agamemnon
369
Sources of Quotations
412
Notes
418
Suggestions for further Reading
433
Index of Classical Mythology
455
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About the author (2004)

Jay Macpherson is a professor emeritus in the Department of English at Victoria College, University of Toronto. Northrop Frye was a Professor in the Department of English at Victoria College, University of Toronto.

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