The Nachleben of Classical Mythology


Head of project: Christine Harrauer

Staff member: Petra Aigner

Temporary Staff members (with work contracts):  Bernhard Kreuz (Bibliography), Stephan Stockinger (data base), Dietmar Schreiner (data base)

Bibliography to the "Nachleben of Classical Mythology"

The comprehensive on-line bibliography to “The Nachleben of Classical Mythology“ from ancient to modern times, compiled  by Bernhard Kreuz, Petra Aigner and Christine Harrauer, is constantly being updated, and at present it covers 623 pages (Version 9/2018).

Data base "Newly invented Myths of the Renaissance period"

Creative  poets, scholars and artists of the Italian Renaissance clearly saw the timelessness and versatility of the ancient myths, and playfully put them to use to create new myths, modelled on the classical example; and very soon, also poets and artists from other European states tied in with this tradition. This new data base was drawn up to provide access  for research in this field and to allow for international cooperation. It is to be launched on-line after a complete incorporation of all the existing  synopses of the corresponding texts, including brief biographies of all relevant authors.

Entry criteria are as follows:

I. Conceptual redesign of ancient myths:

  1. Introduction of new mythological characters into a traditional myth (extension of myths).
  2. Integration of traditional characters into a new setting.
  3. Invention of new mythological characters: mainly personifications of locations, rivers (etc.) in order to idealise the homeland of the modern poet or the birthplace and home of a person that is to be hailed.
  4. Continuation of an ancient story (continuating addition of a traditional myth).

     

II. Transformation of traditional myths:

  1. Elaboration of unusual myths, i.e. of story-lines which had rarely (or only one time) been handed down, as well as myths whose story-line was not elaborated in Antiquity.
  2. Mythological stories which show a surprisingly new apprehension of explanatory notes by ancient scholars to difficult mythological references and contexts.
  3. Origin of new myths through misconceptions or corrupted texts as ancient works had been handed down.

     

The data bank can be accessed in German and English. It does not cover the “conventional history of reception“ of ancient authors like Vergil, Ovid, Statius and others, but solely covers newly invented myths in the fields of literature (mainly Latin, scarcely Italian, English and French), music (librettoes and other musical texts) and the visual arts (illustrations in paintings, frescoes, tapestries, marriage chests  a.s.o. and in sculptures.)
For a start, the data base focusses on the Italian Renaissance, and it is to be extended through international cooperation, temporally and geographically.

In the field of music, there is already a cooperation with Dr. Alexander Rausch from the Institute of Art and Musicological Research. With him a joint research project is being planned, whose goal is the systematic scientific compilation of the libretti.

 

As to the data base

http://www.oeaw.ac.at/antike/mythdb

For the time being, the data bank can be accessed by project staff only.