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Revealing Antiquity #09: The Craft of Zeus: Myths of Weaving and Fabricby John Scheid
Synopses & Reviews
The fundamental gesture of weaving in The Craft of Zeus is the interlacing of warp and woof described by Plato in The Statesman--an interweaving signifying the union of opposites. From rituals symbolizing--even fabricating--the cohesion of society to those proposed by oracles as a means of propitiating fortune; from the erotic and marital significance of weaving and the woven robe to the use of weaving as a figure for language and the fabric of the text, this lively and lucid book defines the logic of one of the central concepts in Greek and Roman thought--a concept that has persisted, woof and warp crossing again and again, as the fabric of human history has unfolded.
At the mythical dawn of time, an archaic Zeus stood before a loom to weave a rich mantle, resplendent with Ocean and Earth, for his bride. In this dazzling commentary on Greek and Roman myth and society, weaving emerges as a metaphor as rich with promise and possibility as Zeus's gift. In the symbolism ostensibly begun by Zeus himself, John Scheid and Jesper Svenbro trace a pattern used by an entire civilization. The authors use the interlacing of warp and weft--described by Plato in The Statesman--to show the central Classical concept of the union of opposites, as it has unfolded from Greek and Roman rituals through the fabric of human history. "An elegant exploration ... This is a constantly challenging and entertaining little book ... [It] sheds new light on old texts and explores important areas of ancient mentalities in ways which enliven and stimulate." --Nick Fisher, Times Literary Supplement
In this dazzling commentary on Greek and Roman myth and society, weaving emerges as a metaphor rich with possibility. From rituals symbolizing the cohesion of society to the erotic and marital significance of weaving, this lively book defines the logic of one of the central concepts in Greek and Roman thought.
About the Author
John Scheid is Director of Study at the École Pratique des Hautes Études at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, Paris.Jesper Svenbro is a Fellow at the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique Paris.
Table of Contents
PART 1: PEPLOS
1. From the Sixteen Women to the Weaver King: Political Weaving in Greece
PART 2: CHLAINA
3. Aphrodite Poikilthronos: Epithets, Cloaks,and Lovers
PART 3: TEXTUS
5. The Cloak of Phaedrus: The Prehistory of the "Text" in Greek
Appendix A. Note on Biological "Tissue"
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