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Aristides' Uses Of Myths

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Chapter Summary

This chapter deals with content with merely giving some sense of Aristides' various ways of handling myths. It examines the occurrences of muthos, muthologema, mutheomai and muthodes, which suggest a rather critical attitude towards mythology. The chapter focuses on the Heracles myth, distinguishing between its rhetorical uses and the transformation of its content according to imperial ideology. This myth is indeed the most prominent in Aristides' speeches. In the kingship speeches of Dio, the appeals to the precedent of Heracles have justly been regarded as complimentary to Trajan, who made him into his favorite hero. This may also be the case for Aristides, since the Stoic emperor Marcus Aurelius was also fond of the hero and had himself portrayed as Heracles.&t; The chapter concludes by analyzing Aristides' rewriting of the Prometheus myth. For it provides the best illustration of an ideological recycling of a classical myth.

Keywords: Aristides' mythology; Heracles myth; mutheomai; muthodes; muthologema; muthos



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