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Title:Iambe and Baubo: A Study in Ritual Laughter
Author(s):Arans, Olga R.
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Marcovich, Miroslav,
Department / Program:Classics
Discipline:Classical Philology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Literature, Classical
Literature, Comparative
Anthropology, Cultural
Abstract:The thesis provides an exploration of the cultural semantics of the myth of Iambe/Baubo. It reconsiders the primary sources and outlines the problems involved. A cross-cultural approach to the subject permits a discussion of the Greek myth in the broader framework of comparative folklore and provides a more universal background for the conclusions reached.
The study tries to grasp the religious message of the sacred story of the Eleusinian Mysteries about the grieving Mother Demeter, who wanders in search for her lost daughter, and bursts into laughter at the sight of obscene exhibition of Baubo (or through the jokes of Iambe). The role of Iambe/Baubo in the Eleusinian Mysteries provides the paradigm for restoring the split unity of the Mother and the Maiden.
Iambe/Baubo appears as an archaic equivalent to both Demeter and Persephone. The origins of this figure may be traced in the female rites of passage. Her myth encompasses the idea of death and rebirth, rendered in the symbolic terms of agrarian folklore. The exposed vulva of Baubo also signifies the grave; the gates to the Underworld; the furrow in the plough-land. The Baubo-type appears in folklore as the Master of initiations; the Match-maker; the Midwife, and the Nurse. The figure of Iambe/Baubo is connected with the archetypes of the Old Mother and the Virgin Mother.
Issue Date:1988
Description:193 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 1988.
Other Identifier(s):(UMI)AAI8908611
Date Available in IDEALS:2014-12-16
Date Deposited:1988

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