Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Athena in books not about Athena

Front CoverI am currently compiling a list of uses of Athena in the titles of book, publishers' series etc etc. What interests me are books and other publications that do not actually discuss the ancient goddess or the postclassical reception of that goddess but that are using the goddess as a symbol to convey in a snappy way what the purpose of the project is.  I have previously discussed in postings to this blog two such examples - the Head of Athena Press and Martin Bernal's Black Athena. The latter example does concern ancient evidence for the goddess - in fact Bernal's derivation of Athena from the Egyptian divine name Neith is key to his case that Greece was colonised by settlers from Egypt in the second milennium BCE. However, Athena is also played out in Black Athena as a symbol of a) the elite basis of classics and classicism and b) the new ('ancient') model Bernal proposes with a view to wiping out what he saw as centuries of Eurocentrism and sometimes racism.

Here are a few further examples:

Athena’s Shuttle: Myth, Religion, Ideology from Romanticism to Modernism. Edited by Franco Marcucci and Emma Sdegno, 175–194. Milan: Cisalpino, 2000.
  • Edited volume coming out of a conference in the late 90s on myth, religion and ideology.

Athena’s Camp: Preparing for Conflict in the Information Age. Edited by John Arquilla and David Ronfeldt, 1–20. Santa Monica, CA: RAND, 1997.
  • Edited volume, again from the 90s, this time from beyond the humanities - on the potential for conflict from cyber operations.
Hermes and Athena: Biblical Exegesis and Philosophical Theology. Edited by Eleonore Stump and Thomas P. Flint, 37–58. University of Notre Dame Studies in the Philosophy of Religion 7. Notre Dame, IN: University of Notre Dame Press, 1993.
  • Yet another edited volume from the 90s, this time in biblical studies - drawing on Hermes and Athena as symbols for schoalrship and philosophy.
Athena Press of London - "an author-funded book publisher mainly dedicated to the publishing of books by new authors" which uses the head of Athena as its logo.

The Athena series of Holt, Rinehart and Winton of NY which publishes works in Maths, Physics and Engineering.  The one book I've looked at from the series to date includes no explanation for the name of the series.

More examples to follow...

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