Thinking comparatively about Greek mythology XIII, with a focus on the role of Hēraklēs as kingmaker
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CitationNagy, G. 2019.10.18. “Thinking comparatively about Greek mythology XIII, with a focus on the role of Hēraklēs as kingmaker.” Classical Inquiries. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.eresource:Classical_Inquiries.
AbstractIn my essay for 2019.10.11, “Hēraklēs at his station in Mycenaean Tiryns,” I focused on references in Greek myth to the stationing of Hēraklēs at the Cyclopean stronghold of Tiryns in the context of the Labors that this hero performs for the king Eurystheus, who rules from his own Cyclopean stronghold of Mycenae, nerve center of the Mycenaean Empire. I argued that that spatial role of Tiryns as the point of access to Mycenae—a role made evident by archaeological evidence—can be matched with the mythological role of Hēraklēs as the Strong Man who upholds the kingship of Eurystheus in two alternating ways: one way is for him to serve as the leader of all the king’s men in times of war, and the other way is for him to act as their model whenever he engages in ordeals of fighting singlehandedly against monstrous foes of humanity. In making this argument, I will spell out a disagreement I have with the views of Martin P. Nilsson about the relationship of Hēraklēs with Eurystheus, over-king of the Mycenaean Empire. In terms of my argument, as we will see, the relationship of Hēraklēs with Eurystheus in Greek myths can best be understood by comparing it to the relationship of the Germanic hero Starkaðr/Starcatherus with kings of Sweden or Denmark in Scandinavian myths.
Citable link to this pagehttp://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:42181108
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