Bundling Myth, Bungling Myth: The Flood Myth in Ancient and Modern Handbooks of Myth

R. Scott Smith

Abstract

This essay analyzes the narrative accounts of Deucalion’s flood within the broader context of human creation in two ancient mythographical works of myth (Ovid, Apollodorus) and three modern handbooks. In each case the mythographer has been forced to reshape the episodic-one might say disparate and conflicting -nature of her or his sources and invent new connective tissue to organize early mythic time. The authorial voice and narrative aims of all writers attempting to create a coherent and comprehensive account of this period remain operative even in subliterary works such as Apollodorus’ Bibliotheke and render source criticism problematic.

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