Origins And Development Of Greek Mythology - Essay

Origins And Development Of Greek Mythology

(Classical and Medieval Literature Criticism)

Martin P. Nilsson (essay date 1932)

SOURCE: "How Old Is Greek Mythology?," in The Mycenaean Origin of Greek Mythology, University of California Press, 1932, pp. 1-34.

[In the following essay, Nilsson argues that Greek epics and the heroic myth cycles they include (rather than elements or motifs found in individual myths) can be dated to the Mycenaean age (1950 to 1100 B.C.).]

The question: How old is Greek mythology? may at first sight seem idle, for Greek mythology is obviously of many different ages. For example, many genealogies and eponymous heroes created for political purposes are late, such inventions having been made through the...

(The entire section is 18510 words.)