Compton, Todd M. 2006. Victim of the Muses: Poet as Scapegoat, Warrior and Hero in Greco-Roman and Indo-European Myth and History. Hellenic Studies Series 11. Washington, DC: Center for Hellenic Studies. http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:hul.ebook:CHS_Compton.Victim_of_the_Muses.2006.
Chapter 27. Transformations of Myth: The Poet, Society, and the Sacred
- Overt myths telling of conflicts between divine and semidivine figures (for example, Marsyas and Apollo).
- Vitae of poets who perhaps never existed (Aesop) that are constructed from some of the same mythical themes; gods are still dramatis personae (the Muses; Apollo). However, the poet is definitely human.
- Vitae of poets who are historical, but whose vitae are embellished with overtly mythical material (Archilochus, meeting the Muses).
- Vitae of historical figures whose lives are embellished with subtly mythical material (Socrates assimilated to Marsyas and Aesop, still associated with Delphi). Here the divine apparatus has been minimized or expressed in a secondary way.
- Finally, the historical figure like Alcaeus whose life follows the pattern, expressed previously in myth, of the excluded blame poet. While we meet such figures in Greece, nearly all of the Roman poets in chapters 20–26 fit in this category.
It is significant that the warrior scapegoat is sacrificed only during war.