(“Classical” in this connection is used to mean “Greek and Roman.”) The present bibliography offers some guidance to the reader in the field of mythology.
Most handbooks of mythology and religion have introductory chapters on the methodological and theoretical questions involved in the study of myth.
In this section are included works devoted more specifically to the problems of definition and interpretation of the concepts of “myth” and “mythology,” and the development of mythology as a discipline.
A second heading in this section presents some general introductions to classical mythology.
Feldman and Richardson 1972 is one the best starting points for those interested in the historical development of the study of myth as a modern discipline.
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“Classical mythology” is a modern conceit that presents as a unified and relatively coherent whole what for the ancients themselves were Greek and Roman multiform traditions, which often (especially in Greece) had no unity, but rather many local variations.
Indeed, “mythology” itself is an ambiguous term, since it designates both the collection of myths of a certain culture and the scholarly study of those myths.
In addition, there is no definition of myth that is universally accepted by scholars and capable of encompassing all cases of known myths.
Furthermore, the mythology of Greece and Rome is closely connected with Greek and Roman religion, since the gods and heroes who populate myths were also celebrated in religious rituals.
Some scholarly approaches even postulate an intimate connection between myth and ritual (see Myth and Ritual).