This book examines how three interconnected components of belief-systems - Doctrine, Story (myth), and Ritual - reinforce one another to carry forward values that identify and cohere a society. This work distinguishes myth from other narrative forms, considers its sources, and probes story-telling skills and politics in classical mythological literature.
Preface by Miriam Robbins Dexter; Introduction; 1. Functions Myths Serve; 2. The Need For Story; 3. Sources of Myth; 4. The Challenge of Defining, or What to Debunk; 5. Model-Making; 6. "Myths" about Myths; 7. Communication: Prayer and Sacrifice; 8. Circe: The Intersection of Myth and Literature; 9. The Oresteia: The Intersection of Myth and Politics; 10. Who or What Are the Greek Gods?; Bibliography; Index.