CORDIS - EU research results

Family Myths: Phraseology and Inherited Indo-European Thematic Structures in Greek Myth


My project examines thematic structures in Greek poetry of archaic and classical ages (8th–5th B.C.) in order

(1) to collect and analyze words and phrases which characterize thematic structures of Greek mythological narratives;
(2) to locate possible connections between mythological accounts and ancient rituals, elucidating how myths and rituals interact, and
(3) to identify parallels in other branches of Indo-European (IE).

Specifically, the reconstruction of IE thematic heritage is made to rely upon the linguistic comparison among words and phrases attested within mythological and ritual texts of Greek and its sister languages (Indo-Iranian, Anatolian, Italic, Germanic).
As stated in previous literary criticism, classics “hide in the layers of memory disguised as the individual’s or the collective unconscious” and “persist as a background noise even when a present that is totally incompatible with them holds sway” (I. Calvino). My investigation, then, will try to cast light on the obscure genetic origins of texts, which had an extensive impact on artistic and intellectual categories of Western society.
In particular, I will try to supply a refined methodology for the phraseological analysis. Simultaneously, through an interdisciplinary approach, my study will shed light on particulars of mythological stories, which are shared by two or more IE daughter languages, helping to sketch the chronological layers and distributional patterns of myths within the IE family tree. Therefore, my project perfectly fits into the research activity of the Research Centre “Roots of Europe” at Department of Nordic Studies and Linguistics in Copenhagen, which is concerned with the linguistic, cultural and ethnic prehistory of Europe. The training program and further activities promoted by the fellowship will provide me with an increased linguistic expertise, new management skills and an expanded research network.


Net EU contribution
€ 200 194,80
1165 Kobenhavn

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Danmark Hovedstaden Byen København
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 200 194,80