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Le mythe ovidien de Pygmalion trouverait l'une de ses origines dans la Berbérie préhistorique.

Abstract : The Greek myth of Pygmalion is strangely reminiscent of a Kabyle tale: in both stories, men fall in love with a statue that looks like a woman; they dress her, talk to her, give her presents. The image finally comes to life thanks to a divine power, or a person close to the divinity. The question of her marriage with her creator is finally asked. This story is probably older than the Muslim expansion and its iconoclasm. Before the Muslim expansion, Judaism, which is also an iconoclastic religion, was widespread among the Berbers. Yet the mythological loan between Greece and Kabylia doesn't occurr during the Roman Empire. Indeed, Ovidian myth was not famous enough to be adopted in Kabylia at this time: the imaginaire of Pygmalion doesn't develop until the thirteenth century. The only period that has allowed direct or indirect regular contacts, between the Greek and Berber cultures - Kabylia being a part of the latter - are Cyrenaica and the Carthaginian civilization. So the mythological loan can only occur between the seventh and the first century B.C.E., before the writing of the Ovidian Metamorphoses. The Berber version of Pygmalion is therefore first, and would later spread to Greece from Libya. According to archaeological findings, this tale shows that ancient Berber may think that their images can come to life.
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Contributor : Julien d'Huy <>
Submitted on : Saturday, June 9, 2012 - 8:28:50 PM
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Julien d'Huy. Le mythe ovidien de Pygmalion trouverait l'une de ses origines dans la Berbérie préhistorique.. Les Cahiers de l'AARS, Saint-Lizier : Association des amis de l'art rupestre saharien, 2011, pp.19-25. ⟨hal-00706301⟩

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