The purpose of this paper is to investigate the origins of early Greek mythography, exemplarily represented by Hecataeus of Miletus and Acusilaus of Argos. The paucity of verbatim quotations and a total lack of information about the publication of their prose works and their audience makes it difficult to frame them within a specific literary genre. Despite that, a better understanding of their cultural milieu could help us approach their literary production in a new way. What arises from this investigation is how unprofitable it is to rely upon a rigid distinction among the production of early prose writers who clearly share a common goal and, to some extent, a similar communicative strategy.
CalameC., 'Le funzioni di un racconto genealogico. Acusilao di Argo e la nascita della storiografia', in Angeli Bernardini P.(ed), La città di Argo. Mito, storia, tradizioni poetiche. Atti del convegno internazionale, Urbino, 13-15 giugno 2002, (Roma2004) 229-243.
FowlerR.L., 'Herodotus and his Contemporaries', in jhs, (Oxford/New York ) 6246-8783now reprinted with minor revisions in: Vignolo Munson, R. (ed.) 2013. Herodotus. Volume 1, Herodotus and the Narrative of the Past. Oxford Readings in Classical Studies.
JacobyF., 'Die Fragmente der griechischen Historiker, Erster Teil. Genealogie und Mythographie', in Neudruck vermehrt um Addenda zum Text, Nachträge zum Kommentar, Corrigenda und Konkordanz, (Leiden1957) 2.
ThomasR., 'Prose Performance Texts. Epideixis and Written Publication in the Late Fifth and Early Fourth Centuries', in H. Yunis(ed), Written Texts and the Rise of Literate Culture in Ancient Greece, (Cambridge2003) 162-188.
TrzaskomaS.M., 'Citation, Organization and Authorial Presence in Ps.-Apollodorus’ Bibliotheca', in R.S. Smith and S.M. Trzaskoma(eds), Writing Myth. Mythography in the Ancient World, (Leuven/Paris/Walpole, MA2013) 75-94.
Firstly stated by Jacoby1909. See also Porciani 1997 for a systematic dismissal of Jacoby’s thesis.
About these writers see Fowler1996, 63ff.
Cf. Ercolani in Colesanti and Giordano2014, 12: “a description of the textual production of ancient Greek culture in terms of a ‘theory of the genre’ proves indeed both misguided and misleading in the examination of prose texts”.
Depew and Obbink2000, 6.
See Ulm1963, 13ff., and Fowler, egm ii, 710-715.
Cf. Calame2004, 234.
Goody and Watt1963, 325.
Goody and Watt1963, 308-11.
Pearson1939, 98rightly underlines the aristocratic tone that Hecataeus used here; on this opening statement see Nenci 1951, 56ff., Corcella 1996, Porciani 1997, 47ff., Bertelli 2001, 80ff., Fowler 2000, 110ff., West 2002, 4-5.
Lincoln1999, whose conclusions are summed up in Fowler 2011, 52ff.