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by Archaeology Newsroom

Issues of Mythology and Methodology on the Occasion of a Myth and an Exhibition

On the occasion of the Hercules’ Exhibition, housed in the Goulandris Museum of Natural History (February 2004-June 2005), the issue is probed whether a reliable method of approaching myths exists. If we consider the time necessary for the formation of a myth as well as the myth differentiations occurring In the sources of ancient Greek literature, then we can suggest the following: the approach to myths, particularly to these that have survived and have inspired various artistic expressions until to day, should be made according to the conditions prevailing in the time of their creation or recreation; It must also reveal the successive phases of the formation of myths as well as the reasons for their occasional differentiation. This theoretical issue, like others, such as the model for the formation of myth versions, can be demonstrated, for example, through the myth of Hercules in whose personality events of centuries are compressed. We also attempt to present a brief “prehistory” of the Olympic Games until their final formation. Thus, the role of he Idaean and the Argeian Hercules and of the rest “founders” of he Games is elucidated and the religious and political differences among the ancient tribes who have related their history with the region of Olympia, the birthplace of the Olympic Games, and the Olympia, the panhellenic games, are underlined.