Brill’s New Pauly Supplements I - Volume 4 : The Reception of Myth and Mythology

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(5,573 words)

(Κίρκη [Kírkē]; Latin Circe, Cerca, Circa)

A. Myth

Although the myth of the sorceress C., daugh-ter of Helios and Perse, certainly derives from older traditions, its first and most important portrayal in literature comes in Homer’s Odyssey (Hom. Od. 10,135–574; 12,1–143). When Odysseus reaches the island of Aeaea, C. transforms some of his companions into pigs using a drink she mixes herself and by touching them with her crop, while Odysseus himself is protected by the herb ‘molu’, given to him by Hermes. As an opponent now o…

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Kuhn, Barbara, “Circe”, in: Brill’s New Pauly Supplements I - Volume 4 : The Reception of Myth and Mythology, English edition by David van Eijndhoven, Christine Salazar, and Francis G. Gentry (2010). Original German-language edition: Mythenrezeption: Die antike Mythologie in Literatur, Musik und Kunst von den Anfängen bis zur Gegenwart. Herausgegeven von Maria Moog-Grünewald. Serie: Der Neue Pauly Supplemente 1. Staffel, herausgegeben von Hubert Cancik, Manfred Landfester und Helmuth Schneider, Band 5. Stuttgart, Germany. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH (2008). Consulted online on 13 December 2019 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: 9789004183308, 20101111

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