Biblical and Classical Myths: The Mythological Framework of by Northrop Frye, Jay Macpherson

By Northrop Frye, Jay Macpherson

In the Seventies and 80s, Northrop Frye and Jay Macpherson co-taught a truly influential path on the college of Toronto's Victoria collage at the historical past of Western mythology ? Frye targeting the biblical myths; Macpherson at the classical. Biblical and Classical Myths recreates the concept at the back of that path, with Frye's lectures ? unpublished till very lately ? supplemented through Macpherson's renowned 1962 textbook on classical mythology, Four a while: The Classical Myths.

Frye's lectures at the Bible make up the 1st 1/2 the booklet. He expounds on an array of issues, together with translations of the bible, sexual imagery, pastoral and agricultural imagery, and legislation and revolution within the bible. Four Ages makes up the second one part. Macpherson narrates the foremost classical myths from tales of construction to the myths' survival in later ecu traditions.

By complementing the biblical culture with the classical, this quantity imparts a accomplished knowing of western mythology. With a preface by way of Alvin Lee, normal editor of the amassed Works of Northrop Frye, Biblical and Classical Myths is a necessary quantity and represents a distinct fulfillment in scholarship.

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Those waters above the heavens are referred to later in Psalm 148. Only once in history did these two bodies of water, above and below, prove destructive: that was when, at the time of Noah's flood, they poured in to reinforce the rains and the bursting out of the sea, and helped to drown the world. In Genesis 7:11 [-12], "In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month, the same day were all the fountains of the great deep broken up, and the windows of heaven were opened.

That is the historical situation which we meet at the beginning of the New Testament. D. 70, Jerusalem was sacked and looted by the Emperor Titus. D. 135, the Emperor Hadrian expelled all the Jews from their home­ land and changed the name of Jerusalem to a Latin name—Aelia Capitolina—and simply eradicated all geographical traces of the Jewish people. At this point, Jewish and Christian versions of this U-shaped narrative diverge. The Christian interpretation is that Jesus came to achieve all these symbols of peace and prosperity in a spiritual form.

There was a British Revised Version in 1885, and an American Standard Version in 1900: both of them, from the literary point of view, were flops. They made very limited headway, partly because the genuine scholars on the trans­ lating committee were always being outvoted by the old fuddy duddies opposed to any change whatever; and, more important, they fell foul of the principle of translating that it is not the scholarly knowledge of the original that makes a translation permanent, but sensitivity to one's own language.

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