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The famous story of the choice of Hercules became one frequently depicted in Western art and, as Ernst Panofsky showed, the various treatments of this theme demonstrate the significance of cultural continuity through the centuries. At the same time, the motif of Hercules and his choice presents us with a challenge to current theoretical approaches to culture. We can either take the easy path and accept the current hermeneutic orthodoxies of popular cultural studies, or we can choose a harder but, ultimately, more rewarding path: the philosophy of culture articulated by Ernst Cassirer. This volume brings together a collection of papers which reflects the broad sweep, both historical and theoretical, of Cassirer's philosophy of symbolic forms. They range from language-theory to myth and religion; and all are set, with varying degrees of emphasis, in a comparative context.