Brill’s New Pauly

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Motif research
(484 words)

[German version]

is the study of the motif understood as the 'smallest unit of content' within traditional narratives (myth, legend, folktale [1]). Such a unit might be a plot (the burning of an object which is connected to a person's life will kill that person: Meleager [1]) or a characteristic person (the youngest son is the cleverest: Zeus). Motif research has long dominated the study of folk-tales and myths. However, a precise and standard definition of ‘motif’ and its distinction from related constitutive characteristics has never really been acc…

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Graf, Fritz (Columbus, OH), “Motif research”, 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 22 June 2021 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1574-9347_bnp_e810560>
First published online: 2006
First print edition: 9789004122598, 20110510



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