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The Gods of Ancient GreeceIdentities and Transformations$
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Jan Bremmer and Andrew Erskine

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780748637980

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: September 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748637980.001.0001

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Metamorphoses of Gods into Animals and Humans

Metamorphoses of Gods into Animals and Humans

(p.81) 4 Metamorphoses of Gods into Animals and Humans
The Gods of Ancient Greece

Jan N. Bremmer

Andrew Erskine

Edinburgh University Press

Richard Buxton discuss five examples of narratives which relate in some way to divine metamorphosis, whether as animals or humans, for the purpose of presenting themselves to mortals. The narratives studied are the following: Athena’s encounter with Telemachos in the Odyssey, Apollo in the Hymn to Apollo, Thetis’ relationship with Achilles, Dionysos in the Bacchae and Zeus’ serial metamorphoses in pursuit of his erotic ambitions. After drawing conclusions about each of these metamorphoses and epiphanies, Buxton concludes by considering what light this material might shed on the old problem of how far Greek religion was essentially anthropomorphic.

Keywords:   Anthropomorphism, Metamorphosis, Epiphany, Animals, Athena, Dionysos, Thetis, Zeus, Apollo

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