The Childhood of the Hero in the Acritic Tradition

Dr Leon Burnett (Essex)
The Childhood of the Hero in the Acritic Tradition

Myth Reading Group
Wednesday 16 October 2019
1.15 – 2.45 pm
Room NTC.3.06

Digenis Akritas

Postcard: Digenis Akritas Embroidery Mary Galani – Kritikou (Museum of the Acritans of Europe)

The new term begins with the new theme of Myth and Childhood. As is traditional, our first session will be led by the founding director of the Centre for Myth Studies, Leon Burnett.

In this session we consider the exceptional circumstances and attributes of the child who is destined to be a hero in literary works that originated in an era when tales of legendary exploits sought to consolidate a unifying ethos. The main text, from the Welsh Mabinogion, and the supporting texts, from the Finnish Kalevala and Tennyson’s Idylls of the King, share common ground and a common purpose in re-establishing in the nineteenth century a national awareness that ultimately derives its inspiration from an archaic, pan-European mythological belief in child gods.

Excerpts from:

  1. Mabinogion, First Branch, Pwyll Prince of Dyfed [main text]
  2. Kalevala, Runo 31, Kullervo [supporting text]
  3. Tennyson, Idylls of the King, Part One, The Coming of Arthur [supporting text]

You are welcome to bring your lunch to the session.

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