So, I understand that ancient mythologies and their characters such as Zeus etc are part of the public domain. However, what happens to individual interpretations of ancient texts?
For example, a sacred tablet that has been translated from another language and interpreted in many different ways. Would these characters still be public domain and fair use? More importantly, would there be any copyright infringement issues on the plot itself if I were to write a book, screenplay etc?
Non-fiction writers have published and copyrighted books with their translations and interpretations of these texts (in recent years) and I'd like to avoid drama. Having said that, many books by various authors each discuss the exact same thing, so I don't see why I can't?
In short, if I were to write fiction with the same characters, same names, similar plot, but with my own twist, sub-plots, descriptions and in my own words would I have a problem? Could I have a bibliography at the end of a fiction book citing these established materials and would that help?