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Wandering Myths

Wandering Myths is a project designed to advance understanding of the mechanisms by which mythological tales were disseminated in the ancient world, and to explore how these narratives gained local resonances in their different contexts.  A shared understanding of mythological narratives linked wide ranging ancient societies from the ancient Near East to Britain. In spite of the ubiquitous nature of these myths, and the growing amount of new work being carried out on uses of myth in particular ancient contexts, their appeal and reception beyond the framework of one culture have rarely been the object of enquiry in contemporary debate in Classical Studies. We want to work on this new focus by using the existing strengths within all classical disciplines (archaeology, art history, literature, and ancient history) as well as drawing upon important new research being conducted in other fields of the humanities.  
 
The Wandering Myths project comprises three parts: an important international conference to be held in 14-16 April  2014, three TORCH funded interdisciplinary workshops held in the Hilary term leading up to the conference, and an Ashmolean museum gallery trail with a wide public audience. The TORCH funded workshops aim to draw upon the research expertise of those working within and beyond the study of antiquity to explore the reception, use, and transference of myth. We hope to attract colleagues in fields such as reception studies, modern literature, anthropology, and modern history to participate in our workshop series, as well as those interested in uses of myth in the ancient world, because we believe that such collaboration will enable us to stimulate discussion, share ideas, and to develop a strong theoretical framework which benefits all participants and allows us to place the conference themes in the widest possible context. In addition, these workshops will suggest possible models that can be tested during the course of the conference. 
 

Image Credits

Herakles and Athena on an Attic black-figured amphora by the Priam Painter, 520-510 BC, © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford (AN1885.668)
Roman marble statuette of Hercules standing over the recently deceased Erymanthian boar, © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford (AN1928.529)
Hercules tears the antlers off the Cerynian stag on a gold-glass medallion from Rome, AD 300-350, © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford (AN 2007 16a)
Figure of the hero god Heracles  shown with his club seated on a lion from Gandhara, 1st c BC - 1st c AD, © Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford (EA1999.31)

For details about the Wandering Myths Conference, please see:

http://www.classics.ox.ac.uk/Wandering-Myths.html

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