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Abstract | Two Tombs for Hyrnetho: A Case Study in Localism and Mythographic Topography

This paper considers the factors which shaped myths as both a shared tradition and an amalgam of conflicting variants and versions.  It uses the story of the division of the Peloponnese amongst the Heracleidai to consider how local concerns produced stories which functioned simultaneously within a supra-local context. It then explores a ‘post-script’ to the story of the Heraclid return, the death of the obscure Argive heroine Hyrnetho. The survival of this story only in Pausanias prompts consideration of the characteristics of Pausanias’ mythographic method which proved hospitable to its narration. The paper concludes by offering a model of ‘mythographical topography’ which draws on the same creative dynamic of local and supra-local contexts to offer an analogy for the mythographic method.

About Greta Hawes

Greta Hawes is Lecturer in Classics and Ancient History at the Australian National University. Her first book, Rationalizing myth in antiquity (OUP 2014), explored the Greeks’ attempts to make their myths resemble historical narratives. Her current interest in the spatial dynamics of myth is apparent in a forthcoming edited collection (Myths on the map: the storied landscapes of ancient Greece, OUP) and in her ongoing work on a monograph examining the interrelationships between land and storytelling in Pausanias’ Periegesis.

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