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Ancient Myths in the Making of Culture

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Malgorzata Budzowska and Jadwiga Czerwinska

The reception of Mediterranean Antiquity heritage is one of the dominant research areas in contemporary classical studies. This issue has constituted the scope of the conference Reception of Ancient Myths in Ancient, Modern and Postmodern Culture, which took place at the University of Łódź (Poland) in November 2013. The volume consists of the selected articles based on the conference papers. They are divided into the main chapters: Literature, Visual and Performing Arts and Philosophy as well as Anthropology. The authors consider different methods of reception of ancient myths focusing on various cultural phenomena: literature, fine arts, theatre, cinema and pop culture.
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Juan Antonio Castro Tauromachy. Between the Myth and the Art of Corrida

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The play «Tauromachy» by Juan Castro (1927–1980) transforms the ancient myth of Theseus and Minotaur. Queen Pasiphae, wife of King Minos of Crete slept with a bull sent by Zeus, and gave birth to Minotaur, a creature half man-half bull. King Minos was embarrassed, but did not want to kill the Minotaur, so he hid the monster in the Labyrinth constructed by Daedalus at the Minoan Palace of Knossos. Theseus is the great Athenian hero. He announced to King Minos that he was going to kill the Monster, but Minos knew that even if he did manage to kill the Minotaur, Theseus would never be able to exit the Labyrinth. Theseus met Princess Ariadne, daughter of King Minos, who fell madly in love with him and decided to help the hero. She gave him a thread and told him to unravel it ← 133 | 134 → as he would penetrate deeper and deeper into the Labyrinth, so that he knows the way out when he kills the monster. Theseus followed her suggestion and entered the labyrinth with the thread. Theseus managed to kill the Minotaur and save the Athenians, and with Ariadne’s thread he managed to retrace his way out. I analyse the play «Tauromachy» from the cultural anthropology point of view. The bullfighting is a culturally important tradition and a fully developed art form on par with painting, dancing and music. The matador de toros (killer of bulls) is considered the artist and the dancer, possessing great agility,...

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