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The Metamorphoses of Ancient Myths

Edited By Malgorzata Budzowska, Burc Idem Dincel, Jadwiga Czerwinska and Katarzyna Chizynska

This book gives a comprehensive overview of the phenomenon of artistic dialogue with ancient myths. The contributions assume a double-track research approach. The contributors investigate the procedure of myths' recycling within Greco-Roman antiquity, and they consider modern re-occupations of myths in dramatic literature and theatre. Providing various examples of myths' reception from antiquity to present days, this book confirms the persistent human need of re-mythization.

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Is Pelias a Mistake for Aeson? Towards a New Interpretation of Cicero’s De senectute 23, 83 (Damian Pierzak)


Damian Pierzak*

Is Pelias a Mistake for Aeson?Towards a New Interpretation of Cicero’s De senectute 23, 83

Abstract: In Cicero’s philosophical dialogue De senectute 23, 83, the author, at first sight, seems to mistake Pelias for Aeson, attributing the miraculous rejuvenation to the former. The scholars are divided as to how this confusion should be understood. Some of them believe it is an actual error made by Cicero, others – which is even more surprising – argue for the existence of another version of the myth. Both parties pertain somehow to a passage from Plautus’ play Pseudolus, where the same sort of alleged misrepresentation occurs. Unlike in the case of the play, so far none of the various attempts at explaining the puzzling snippet of Cicero’s text have turned out convincing. No one, however, has yet paid enough attention to the internal evidence: the persona of Cato the Elder from De senectute possibly making a direct reference to the exchange of replies between Ballio and the cook from Pseudolus. The present article, therefore, aims above all at highlighting the role of the decorum in shaping the characters of participants in Cicero’s dialogue.

Keywords: Cicero, myth, De senectute, Pelias, mistake.

Our knowledge of Greek mythology differs from that of the ancients, among other things, in that although we have access to much less material, we tend to put together all we collect from the often fragmentary or second-hand sources into handbooks and lexica, so...

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