The ancient Greek intellectuals (i.e. the pre-Socratic philosophers, the early historiographers, philosophers of the classical age) did not set myth (mythos) and reason (logos) in opposition to each other. In fact, they benefited from both as differing modes of enquiry, each in its own right and possessing its own value. Plato, in his reasoning, was much concerned with the proper use of mythical narrative. In one of his dialogues, he even coined a new term for explaining how mythical topics and motifs should be exploited as a source of knowledge. This term is mythologia, and it first occurs in Plato's Republic (394b).
The present study aims to offer a corrective to traditional clichÃ©s and received wisdom about intellectual life in ancient Greece. The work proposes, and aims to reconstruct, a mental landscape in which myth and reason connect and vividly interact, and in which the concepts of mythos and logos are intertwined in the terminological network of the ancient Greek language.
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