The Narratives

Myths, regardless of the pantheon or the specific religion, “are stories of the human race that we dream onwards.1” These collective beliefs are held by cultures to be true or conversely to be storied2, depending on the context. Arguably the most well known set of myths are the stories of Ancient Greece and Rome, perhaps second only to the Biblical canon. These stories are a deep and intricate set of relationships of humanoid deities to better explain the phenomena that occur daily in the natural world. The subjects range from natural history, to war, from life and until death and beyond. Stories, in my opinion, are the most valuable cultural indicators modern people can use to distill an ancient society down to its core beliefs.

What follows is an examination of the myths and stories of three women who faced death while still in their prime. These stories reveal what the Greco-Roman collective unconscious thought of death, but not necessarily how they acted when faced with death. For the latter, we must turn to the representations. But first, before diving into the way these myths were shown, I urge you to read how these stories were known.

  1. Anne Baring and Jules Cashford, The Myth of the Goddess: Evolution of an Image (New York: Penguin Books, 1993), XV.
  2. Radcliffe G. Edmonds III, Myths of the Underworld: Plato, Aristophanes, and the ‘Orphic’ Gold Tablets (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2004), 5-6.