Herakles im griechischen Epos: Studien zur Narrativität und Poetizität eines Helden
Professor i klassiske språk Silvio Friedrich Bär er aktuell med ny bok om Herakles.
Like no other character from ancient mythology, Heracles embraces various features and character traits that often heavily contradict each other. For example, we can find the type of the furious and irascible Heracles in tragedy, the gluttonous and bibulous Heracles in comedy, and the abstentious, “Stoic” Heracles in philosophy. The focus of Silvio Bär’s new monograph lies on how Heracles appears as a literary character in Ancient Greek epic from Homer to Nonnus, and how these and other character traits are functionalized in these texts. Although Heracles never assumes the role of a protagonist in any of the surviving Greek epics, it can be demonstrated that he serves specific narrative and/or metapoetic purposes in all of them. Based on the method of narratological character analysis (a methodological approach that has barely been used in Classical Philology so far), Bär argues that Heracles is particularly apt to serve these ends precisely because of his decidedly multifaceted and in large parts contradictory nature. Heracles’ inherent character inconsistency can be viewed as a paradigm of what Bär labels “die Widerspruchsfähigkeit des Mythos” (“mythology’s ability to contradict itself”): mythology as a self-contained system follows its own logic, and contradictions do not need to be resolved or explained, but they complement and reinforce each other.
Read more about the book on the publisher's website