Greek Myths on the Map
The Sixth Bristol Myth Conference
31st July – 2nd August, 2013
Greek myths were inextricably connected to the physical
environments in which they were set. This connection is
strikingly evident in the use of myths to explain and
communicate the significance of physical and human geography.
Polybius boldly asserts that “in the present day, now that all
places have become accessible by land or sea, it is no longer
appropriate to use poets and writers of myth as witnesses of the
unknown” (4.40.2). Yet mythology was never entirely banished:
myths were incorporated into geographical descriptions
throughout antiquity and across a broad spectrum of genres,
even as activities such as exploration, conquest and scientific
endeavour altered how the world was understood and perceived.
This conference will examine the various practical and
conceptual roles Greek mythology played in attempts to
describe, represent and explain the physical and human
geography of the ancient world.
We invite proposals for papers on topics related to this theme.
Questions that papers might address include: What motivates
writers to incorporate mythical narratives into geographical
descriptions? What can myths communicate about the
environment that purely geographical description cannot? Do
diverse and changing perceptions of the physical world affect the
ways in which stories about the mythological past are told? How
do mythical geographies relate to physical and conceptual
geographies? In what ways do political, religious or social forces
impact on the interplay between mythical and geographical
Please send abstracts (c. 250 words) for proposed 25-minute
papers to firstname.lastname@example.org by Monday, 17th
September, 2012. Informal enquiries may be addressed to the
conference organizers, Jessica Priestley and Greta Hawes, at the same