Now Online! | The Origins of the Goddess Ariadne, by Robert T. Teske

Bacchus and Ariadne, By Titian – National Gallery, Public Domain, Image via Wikimedia Commons.

The CHS has elected to publish in an online edition Robert T. Teske’s The Origins of the Goddess Ariadne, a thesis presented in 1970 to the Committee on Degrees in Folklore and Mythology, Harvard College.

From the author’s preface:

Ariadne was the daughter of King Minos of Crete who provided the hero Theseus with the sword he used to slay the fearsome Minotaur and the thread that led him out of the labyrinth constructed to house the creature that was half man and half bull. During the several months that Dr. Nagy and I labored over linguistic and epigraphical evidence for the goddess’s emergence as a separate entity from Aphrodite, he could not have been more encouraging and supportive. He even loaned me his Greek typewriter to prepare the necessary passages to be quoted in the thesis—after all, these were the Dark Ages, before interchangeable fonts on your computer or even interchangeable balls on an IBM Selectric! … Perhaps more important than anything he taught me about Ariadne, he taught me that I had a voice and gave me confidence that I had something to say, and for that I will always be grateful! …

As I was reviewing my PowerPoint presentation in preparation for the Folklore and Mythology Program’s fiftieth anniversary celebration … he asked if I would submit [the thesis] for consideration by the Publications Committee of the Center for Hellenic Studies, with the possibility of it being made available on the Center’s website. Though I protested that a forty-seven-year-old undergraduate thesis could hardly pass for anything like contemporary Classical scholarship, Greg reassured me that the quality of the research and the elegance of the presentation made my work worthy of consideration even after the passage of so much time.