Brill’s New Pauly

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(1,993 words)

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I. Greek literature

Aetiology is the term given to an explanation, generally referring to a mythical past (aetiological myth  Myth), of the αἴτιον (aítion), i.e. of the origin, of some phenomenon affecting the present-day situation of the author and his public, whether it be an object, a city, a custom, or, as is frequently the case, a religious ritual.Up until the 3rd cent. BC aetiology is not the preserve of any particular literary form but in the various forms represents a f…

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Fantuzzi, Marco (Florence) and Rüpke, “Aetiology”, in: Brill’s New Pauly, Antiquity volumes edited by: Hubert Cancik and , Helmuth Schneider, English Edition by: Christine F. Salazar, Classical Tradition volumes edited by: Manfred Landfester, English Edition by: Francis G. Gentry. Consulted online on 15 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510

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