Consuming Narratives: the Politics of Cannibalism on Mt. Lykaion

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This article examines a Classical reference to werewolves, a passing analogy made by Plato in the Republic, in his description of the development of a tyrant. In gen- eral, scholars of myth/ritual have largely downplayed or taken for granted the specific Platonic context; while philosophers have tended to overlook both Lyka i an cannibalism, and the intricacies of political alliances in the early fourth century BC. This paper brings together three areas of investigation: philosophy, religion and political history, situating the myth/ritual complex of Lykaon/Mt. Lykaion within the framework of (1) Plato’s Republic, where this myth/ritual is introduced analogically, and (2) fourth-century Peloponnesian politics, to which, it is argued, the Platonic werewolf analogy may be alluding, either in general or specific terms.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)63-89
Number of pages26
JournalClassica et Medievalia
Publication statusPublished - 3 Jan 2019


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