In the context of Greek and Roman mythology, suppose I'm interested in finding whether two prominent mythical personages (deities, heroes or other figures) are related or not by some written narrative, reference to narrative or iconic representation, painted or sculptural.

Has some systematic indexing work of this kind been done, making it easy to find whether such relations exist or not, in all the available written and pictorial corpus of classical antiquity?

EDIT: That is, a binary index of relations where interaction is not limited to possible genealogical linkages between the characters involved.

  • I've seen lots, but the thing is, the myths and legends are not internally consistent. – Mary Oct 25 '20 at 17:18
  • @Mary They don't need to be internally consistent. Variations are acceptable. Thoroughness of the indexing is what matters. – exp8j Oct 26 '20 at 7:48
  • After the comment made by @Adinkra below, to make things clearer, in the text of the question I have changed "index" to "binary index" and "relationships" to "interactions". – exp8j 6 hours ago
  • Amended my Answer accordingly – Adinkra 5 hours ago

As far as I'm aware, almost certainly not. There is no such index dedicated especially and specifically to whether any two (or more) characters from the mythology interact with each other (or with one another) or not.

I would say that the best one could do in approaching something approximate to this would be an encyclopaedia, in the use of which sometimes it's easier and other times more laborious to search out whether two characters ever interact in the mythology or not.

Particularly in order to answer certain StackExchange Mythology Questions I have to had to employ the use of such a resource, generally going by a combination of:

There's an "Enhanced by Google" Search function one can use inside the GML and Theoi websites to perform a scan limited to only those sites while inside them. It's definitely not as sophisticated as calling up a couple of names and finding a Yes or No response regarding their possible interaction. Sometimes you'd have to skim through a few dozen Search Results to determine the answer to your query.

Often enough the interaction in question might be something along the lines of "These two gods had altars next to each other in the agora of that other city over there," and that's it.

If one of the characters in question is significant enough, s\he will often have her/his own dedicated Page on Wikipedia, on the GML or on Theoi. I often default to Theoi, where I would then simply perform a Find-in-Page Search of that particular webpage to look for occurrences of the other personage's name regarding whom I'm wondering whether s\he interacted with the first personage in view here.

The chances are that if you don't find the interaction on Theoi then it doesn't occur in ancient sources, whether literary or artistic. There is, however, a lot of material in the corpus of what we refer to as Greco-Roman mythology, and I doubt that any one of the aforementioned resources, in isolation, suffices to cover absolutely every possible source, some of which can be pretty obscure.

  • Although genealogical lineages were not what I had in mind when asking this question, they are obviously an important kind of relation, so thank you for your valuable comments and suggestions. What interests me lies more in the direction of narratives and actions of the personages involved, as e.g. the question whether there is a narrative where, for example, Ares and Hestia take part. But, as you say, asking for this kind of indexing is probably too much. – exp8j 8 hours ago
  • I think I see what you're getting at. So is your question more along the lines of whether there's an index in which there's a sort of binary (yes vs. no) answer, at a glance, as to whether any 2 characters [says Ares & Hestia] interact in a narrative? – Adinkra 7 hours ago
  • Yes, a binary index at least, and if possible ternary etc. – exp8j 6 hours ago
  • To make it clearer, in the text of the question I have changed "index" to "binary index" and "relationships" to "interactions". – exp8j 6 hours ago
  • Alright. I've updated my Answer per your Question Edit. – Adinkra 5 hours ago

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.