Myths were present in many aspects of ancient Greek society and were very important to many ancient Greeks.

‘Greek Mythology from a Philosophical Perspective’ will be the main topic of debate at the Pan-Arcadian Association on Tuesday, 3 September, 2019 from 6.30 to 8.30 pm.

The evening will focus on how myths were a primary way of preserving and passing on cultural wisdom from one generation to the next in the pre-philosophy era when myths provided explanations for the way things are, described the nature of the world, provided a description of Greek history, and also served as entertainment. For Greeks, myths were also a source of inspiration. However, some ancient Greek philosophers and other thinkers rejected their myths by completely departing from traditional myth and religion and focusing on finding ways to explain natural phenomena that did not concern the gods. Others remained religious, but rejected the myths because they found the details of the Greek myths unpleasant.

We have many examples from Xenophanes, Isocrates, Plato and others, who were not satisfied with all the monstrous things that the myths said and changed their attitude about everything the myths said.

Some ancient Greeks abandoned the myths completely. But others have adopted a more creative approach. Some Greeks realised their myths. Some created new myths and new gods and redrafted their myths to remove the gods from the stories. Others, again, interpreted the stories as allegories. But in antiquity, myth continued to play an important role in Greek society and philosophy.

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The general supervision of the lecture and the interesting academic discussion that will follow – after the short break – will be by Dr Christopher Gribbin from the University of Melbourne, with necessary explanations in Greek.

Dr Christopher Gribbin is a public historian, specialising in ancient Greece and Rome. He has taught at Melbourne, Monash and La Trobe universities. Christopher is actively involved in bringing classics to the community in a meaningful and entertaining way. He delivers a summer school for the public each year at Melbourne’s Hellenic Museum and has worked on special events with the Hellenic Museum and Humanities 21. He has produced educational materials for the ABC and the History Teachers’ Association of Victoria. He also leads cultural tours visiting ancient sites with Australians Studying Abroad and regularly presents lectures to community groups, professional organisations and school groups.

Coffee, tea and sweets will be provided during the event.

When: 6.30-8.30pm, Tuesday 3 September

Where: Pan-Arcadian Association ‘Kolokotronis’ at 570 Victoria Street, North Melbourne