Apollodorus' Bibliotheca is often used, though little studied. Like any author, however, Apollodorus has his own aims. As scholars have noticed, he does not include any discussion of Rome and rarely mentions Italy, an absence they link to tendencies of the Second Sophistic, during which period he was writing. I refine this view by exploring the nature of Apollodorus' project as a whole, showing that he creates a system of genealogies that connects Greece with other places and peoples of the ancient world, specifically the Near East. The nature of the Bibliotheca allows us to see these myths as a closed system, in which these genealogical connections depend upon the perceived importance of these peoples; e.g. the Persians have more connections with the Greeks than the Molossians do. It is from this system that Apollodorus excludes Rome, thereby denying the Romans any genealogical connections with the Greeks and thus marking them as being of little importance. The consciousness of Apollodorus' decisions is clear from the many opportunities he had to include Rome and the fact that his sources contained myths about Rome or Italy. The Bibliotheca is a tendentious account of Greek myth with its own goals, and our knowledge of Apollodorus' aims must condition any use of this text.
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Research Article| April 01 2008
Systematic Genealogies in Apollodorus' Bibliotheca and the Exclusion of Rome from Greek Myth
Classical Antiquity (2008) 27 (1): 59–91.
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K. F. B. Fletcher; Systematic Genealogies in Apollodorus' Bibliotheca and the Exclusion of Rome from Greek Myth. Classical Antiquity 1 April 2008; 27 (1): 59–91. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/ca.2008.27.1.59
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