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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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The Nine Muses and Their Modern Existence

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The purpose of my dissertation is to present the contemporary manifestation of the Muses in various fields of human life. My studies concentrate mainly on the use of the names of the Greek Muses, considered as the inseparable group or individual beings, in the works of different types of artists, in metaphorical as well as non-metaphorical meanings, and the everyday and ordinary application of the names of deities by mythological-oriented and non-oriented users. Thus, in my presentation I provide different examples of the very diverse circumstances in which the Nine Muses appear in the modern world, making references to literature, painting, theatre, music, science, film, internet but also to some commercial products to show that a kind of mythological thinking and at least some basic knowledge of mythical stories is still in a way present also in our times.

The term Muse is currently recognized by professional and non-specialist users of different languages all over the world1. There is no point in analysing this fact as far as Antiquity researchers are concerned, but the fact that this appellation is also often recalled not only by non-classists, but by ordinary people as well makes this issue worth being taken under consideration as an example of the reception of Antiquity in modern culture.

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