Hermes and Herakles. Forms, Strata and Functions of Mythical Changes of Spheres in Greek culture

The project, as an ancient historical subproject of the DFG research group "Strata" has a double objective: From an ancient historical perspective, we will explore myths about changes of spheres and their collective meaning within Greek society in a stratigraphic longitudinal section by analysing the god - and messenger of the gods - Hermes as well as the heros Herakles, who was raised to Olympos. In this regard, we are especially interested in the interaction of mythical narrative and historical contextualization as well as in the expression of mythical content in cultural practice (and vice versa).
Equally important is the integration in the methodical and comparative goals of the research group. By examining specific mythical examples taken from a broad range of sources, the operationalizability of our analytical strategies will be shown - to provide for a methodologically sound intercultural comparability of myths by sequencing and stratigraphic analysis.