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What is Myth?

What is Myth?


School: University of South Carolina
Department: Classical Studies
Course: Introduction to Classical Mythology
Professor: Osborne
Term: Fall 2016
Cost: 50
Name: Final Study Guide
Description: These are the compilation of all the notes we've had over the semester.
Uploaded: 10/15/2017
49 Pages 5 Views 9 Unlocks

Intro to Mythology 

What is Myth?

∙ Myth is a piece of literature involving the supernatural and gods as well as  their interaction with man

o Myth Interpretations

 Etiological – Explanatory about why things are the way they are  Rationalism – Mythic gods reflect real rulers

 Metaphorical/Allegorical – Representative of deep truths

∙ Greek Geography

o Tall mountains and seas promote isolation and alternating beliefs in  religion and myth

∙ Greece is first inhabited in 70,000 BC

∙ Bronze Age (3000 – 1100 BC)


o Minoans

 First Civilization and was discovered by Arthur Evans

 Named after King Minos and was located on Crete centered  around Knossos

 Linear A writing comes about 1900BC

 Great sailors but not a military power

 Art

∙ Boxing, bulls, oceans

∙ Sophisticated art with cultural depictions of race

What is Greek Geography?

o Mycenaeans

 Linear B writing is early Greek language

 Contact Minoans around 2000BC and Conquer them around  1500-1400BC

 Notable King is Agamemnon

 Large palaces with “cyclopean walls”

 Shaft graves and pirates were part of Mycenaean culture

 Wanax is a Mycenaean king

 Octopi is a common theme of their art also weird warped horses  Gods

∙ Contained the 12 Olympians

∙ Had local divinities that were often female

 Strong military power with leather/bronze armor

 They had chariots around 1600BC

 Ends around 1150 BC and causes the dark age

o Trojan War (~1184BC)

 Unites the Greek World

o Dark Ages

 Nobody was there and nobody was literate

 Basileus became a king from a mayor

o Archaic Age (800-500BC)

 Phoenicians came around and people were literate again

when was greece first inhabited?

We also discuss several other topics like What is The knights of labor?

 Homer and Hesiod were poets of mythology

 Panhellenism was the distinguishing between the “barbarians”  and the Greek

 Tyranny and Oligarchy surfaced

Myths of Creation 

∙ Homer

o Illiad and Odyssey

o No creation story

∙ Hesiod

o Theogony

∙ Chasm (Chaos) was the first and only thing

o Earth (Gaia)

o Tartarus (Depths of the Earth)

o Erebus (Darkness of the depths)

o Night

o Eros (Cupid)

∙ Night and Erebus make Aether and Day

∙ Earth makes Heaven

o They both make

 Titans

 Cyclopes

∙ Brontes (Thunderer)

∙ Stereopes (Lightner)

∙ Argess (Whitebolt)

 The Hundred-Handers

∙ Kottos

∙ Briareos

∙ Gyges

∙ Titans

o Ocean and Tethys create Oceanids

o Hyperion and Thea make Helius, Selene, and Eos

o Phaethon

 Attempts to prove he is the son of Helius by driving the sun  chariot but dies instead

 Shows Hubris and Glory as two main themes of mythology

o Eos

 Falls in love with Tithonus and wishes him eternal life

 He doesn’t stay young forever so she locks him in a room to  wither as an old man for eternity

∙ Uranus and Kronos

o Uranus is not a good dad so Gaia wants him killed

o Their son Kronos castrates Uranus and throws the stuff away o The blood creates the Furies, Giants, and Maliai We also discuss several other topics like How earthquakes tell us about interior of the earth?

o When the genitals hit the sea, the foam creates Aphrodite

∙ Monsters

o Phorcys and Ceto are the first monsters

o Gorgons and Echidna are pretty much snake women

∙ Kronos and Zeus

o Many of the twelve olympians are born from Kronos and Rhea but  naturally Kronos eats his children as any living father would

o Rhea gets advice from good ol’ mom and dad who crazy enough had  encountered almost the same situation (see 2 sections ago)

o Baby Zeus gets replaced with a rock and then grows up and beats the  hell out of dad so bad that he regurgitates the other babies he ate

Zeus’ Rise to Power 

∙ The Titanomachy

o In this corner it’s the Gods, Cyclopes, Hecatonchires, Themis, and  Prometheus

o And in this corner it’s Kronos and the other Titans

o The gods win and send the Titans to Tartarus

∙ The Battle with Typhoeus

o Imagine the most terrifying thing with 100 of everything and that was  Typhoeus

o Gets hurled into Tartarus cause he’s terrifying tbh

∙ The Gigantomachy

o Zeus vs Giants

o Again Zeus wins but the giants aren’t sent to Tartarus, their sent under  volcanoes

The Creation of Mortals 

∙ Mortal Creation

o Possibly made by Prometheus

o Athena may have crafted man out of earth and water

o Hesiod says that Zeus was the creator of Man

∙ Hesiod’s Five Ages of Man (Works and Days) We also discuss several other topics like Who is William Caxton?

o Age of Gold Don't forget about the age old question of Figure legends describes what?

 The age under Kronos

 People were carefree and died in their sleep

 Mortals then inhabited earth as holy spirits to ward off evil

o Age of Silver

 People lived as children for 100 years

 They did not worship immortals so Zeus hid then buried under  the earth

o Age of Bronze

 Warlike and spent afterlife in Hades

 Didn’t eat bread

o Age of Heroes

 The course is focused here

 People were valiant in war such as the trojan war

 There were demigods and dwelled on the isle of the blessed

o Age of Iron

 Modern age where good mingles with evil and people dishonor  gods

 This age will eventually be overthrown

∙ Prometheus

o Prometheus is forethought, the protector of man

o Epimethus is afterthought, the idiot brother

o Prometheus attempted to trick Zeus but failed

o Zeus denies fire to man so Prometheus steals it and gives it to them  Prometheus ends up chained to a rock where and eagle eats his  liver everyday

∙ Pandora

o Hephaestus, Athena, Aphrodite, and Hermes craft her

 She is given to Epimethus

o Pandora removes the cover of a jar that releases evils all except hope ∙ Zeus and Io

o Io was Zeus’ mistress so in order to protect her she is turned into a cow o Hera places Argos Panoptes as a guard over Io the cow

o Hermes kills Argos (makes him the eyes of a peacock tail)

o Hera uses a gadfly to chase Io to Egypt where Zeus goes and “has  relations” with Io

 Io gives birth to Epaphsus

The Wickedness of Mortals 

∙ Zeus and Lycaon

o Lycaon is an all around bad person so Zeus wrecks his house and turns  him into a werewolf We also discuss several other topics like Why are poor countries poor?

∙ The Flood

o Wiped humanity out and the survivors starved

∙ Deucalion and Pyrrha

o Last mortals who were devoted to the gods

o Tossed stones over their shoulders and from the stones humans  sprouted

∙ This parallels with Middle Eastern mythology especially the Epic of Gilgamesh Prometheus Bound 

∙ Tyrants rise in Greece

∙ Conflict with Persia

o Battle of Marathon in 490

∙ Zeus is seen as a tyrant and Prometheus as a trickster

∙ Prometheus is also seen as a savior of mankind

o Saved humans from destruction and gave them hope and fire ∙ Reaction of the gods to Prometheus Bound

o Hephaistos is sympathetic

o Oceanus is angry at Zeus

o Chorus is cautious

o Hermes blames Prometheus

Twelve Olympians

∙     There are 14 major deities but only 12 live on Olympus

o Zeus

 God of thunder and lightning

 Is shown as frisky and an enforcer

 Never has absolute patriarchy

∙     The Fates and Aphrodite hold some power over him

 Bears the Aegis

∙     The Head of Gorgon on a goat skin shield Don't forget about the age old question of What is the goal of Brundtland commission?

∙     Athena uses this to strike fear into opponents

o Hera

o Poseidon

o Hades

o Hestia

o Hephaestus

o Ares

o Apollo

o Artemis

o Demeter

o Aphrodite

o Athena

o Hermes

o Dionysus

The Twelve Olympians

∙ 14 Major Deities

o Zeus

 Amorous with numerous affairs and children

 Associated with thunder and lightning

 Bears the Aegis

∙ Goat skin covered shield with the Head of Gorgon

∙ Also used by Athena to cause terror in battle

 Exemplifies divine justice

 Portrayed differently by different authors

 Never absolute patriarchy

∙ Fates

∙ Aphrodite who cannot be resisted

 Zeus and Hera

∙ Brother-Sister

∙ Marriage between sky-god and earth-goddess

∙ Hera as vengeful wife, mother

o White Armed

o Ox-eyed

∙ Children

o Eileithyia

 Goddess of Childbirth

 Shares role with Hera

o Hebe

 Goddess of youthful bloom

 Primary cupbearer of Olympians

 Marries Heracles

 Joined/replaced by Ganymede

∙ Zeus sends an eagle to grab him from  

the city of Troy

 Interpretations of myth of Ganymede

∙ Spiritiual Enlightenment

∙ Zeus as a sexual predator

o Sexual mores of 5th century BC

 Zeus and Mnemosyne

∙ Had the 9 muses

o Calliope – Epic Poetry

o Clio – History

o Euterpe – lyric poetry

o Melpomene – tragedy

o Terpischore – choral dancing

o Erato – love poetry

o Polyhymnia – sacred music

o Urania – astronomy

o Thalia – comedy

 Three Fates

∙ Daughters of Zeus and Themis or Night and Erebus

∙ Clotho

o Spins the thread of life

∙ Lachesis

o Measures the thread

∙ Atropos

o Cuts thread and ends life

∙ Sometimes unified

o Moira

o Closure to Fortune, Necessity

∙ Master of all gods

o Interplay of gods and fate

o Hera

 Goddess of Women, Mothers, Morality, and Marriage

o Poseidon

o Hades

o Hestia

o Hephaestus

 God of forge

 Linked with Athena

∙ Skill, wisdom, crafts, and arts

 Lame from birth

∙ Parthenogenetic birth?

 Cast out of Olympus by Hera and then Zeus

o Hephaestus protected Hera and that’s why Zeus  

cast him out

 Defender of Hera

 Husband of Aphrodite

∙ Marriage of beauty and deformity, intellectual and sensual

∙ Aphrodite and Ares affair

o Ares

 God of war

∙ Destructive and righteous war

∙ Father of Eros with Aphrodite

∙ Ambivalence of Greeks

o Hated and honored

∙ Especially honored by Romans as Mars

o Father of Roman race

o Fathered Romulus and Remus

o Apollo

o Artemis

o Demeter

o Aphrodite

o Athena

o Hermes

o Dionysus

No class on Friday. Exam opens at class time and then close at 10pm

Nature of Gods and Greek Religion

∙ Anthropomorphism

o Human form

 No evidence Greeks ever worshipped animals

o Gods of upper air and upper world

 Olympians

∙ Eat ambrosia

∙ Drink nectar

∙ Bleed ichor

 Gods of earth

∙ Chthonian

o Land

o Unifying factors

 Superhuman strength, knowledge

 Limited by fate

 Immortal

∙ Divine Hierarchy

o Olympians

o Immortals

o Lesser creatures

 Gorgons

 Nymphs

∙ Muses

∙ Oceanids

∙ Nereids

o Demigods

 Children of gods and mortals

 More than humans, less than gods

 Heroes

 Often become chthonic deities after death

o Religious system allowed for many gods

 Definitions never clearly defined

∙ Zeus and Monotheism

o Monotheistic aspects of zeus

 Justice

 Weather

 Morality

 Knwledge

o The gods, the god

 Unity of divine purpose, will

o Hesiod

 Stories of multiple gods

 Unity of divine punishments toward unrighteousness

o Poets, authors, philosophers

 Changing conceptions of divinity

o Xenophanes

 Condemns Hesiod and Homer for anthropomorphism

∙ Exhibit human sins

 All people conceive gods as themselves

∙ Ethiopians, Thracians, etc

 Unified god, not like humans in form or thought

o Greektheology

 Mixture of myth, religious custom, philosophy

 Strict customs for cults

 Strict moral, ethical codes of behavior

 Sincere speculation on god, immortality of the soul, vice and  virtue, afterlife, inevitability of fate

The Nature of the Gods and Greek Religion

∙ Herodotus

o “Father of History”- first historian

 First book on Persian Wars to find out why they attacked Greece ∙ “The History”

∙ 5th century BC

o Fusion of mythic, historical, theological attitudes

∙ Croesus

o King of Lydia

 Wealthiest man in the world

 Literally invented money

o Meeting with Solon

 Solon says this dude with kids who died in battle was the  happiest guy in the world

 “Before he dies do not yet call him happy, but only fortunate”  Only after you die are you able to judge happiness

o Nemesis raised up against Croesus

 Nemesis is a god that came up when people have too much  pride

 Role of fate

 Role of Oracles

 Loss of son

 Loss of kingdom

 Thrown into a pit of fire and saved and made advisor to another  king

∙ Omnipresence of divine justice

o Hubris/Nemesis

∙ Irresistible fate

∙ Mixture of joy and sorrow in human life

∙ Greek Mythology and Religion

o Mythology is different than religion

o Diversity of Greek religion

 Not unified

 Individual cults

∙ 2000 cults in Attica

 Patron deities

∙ Athena (Athens)

∙ Hera (Argos)

∙ Artemis (Ephesus)

∙ Civic Religion of the Polis

o No word for “Religion”

 No concept of “secular”

o No separation of “church and state”

o Civic functions with religious purpose

 Olympic Games

o Life organized around religious calendar

 170 annual festival days in Attica

o Heroic Cults

 Local heroes

 Not immortal

 Acted beyond the grave

o Priests and priestesses

 Appointed by lot, elected, purchased

 Different requirements for each cult

 Males and females in leading roles

 “Technicians” of the gods

 Did sacrifice right

o Seers

 Recognize and interpret signs from the gods

∙ Flight of birds

∙ Dreams

∙ Weather, natural occurrences

∙ Examination of sacrificed animals

 Mystery religions

∙ Personal connection with deity

∙ Acceptance of doctrine

o Sacrifice

 Officiated by priest

 Ritual slaughter

∙ Unblemished

∙ Throats cut

 Thigh bones wrapped in fat, topped with meat

∙ Offering for gods

 Other meat roasted

 Feast

o Elaborate festivals

 Games

 Dramatic contests

Poseidon and Athena

∙ Poseidon

o Importance of Sea to Greeks

o Object of fear

 Shipwrecked

o Object of comfort

o Similar in appearance to Zeus

 More severe and rough

 The Trident

 Chariot drawn by horses

o The Earthshaker

 Earthquakes

 Surge of sea

o Poseidon and Amphitrite

 Like Zeus and Hera

 Jealousy of Amphitrite

∙ Scylla turned into dog-headed monster

∙ Charybdis is the child of Poseidon and Ge that is also  

turned into a sea monster

o Other notable children of Poseidon

 Polyphemus (A cyclops)

 Proteus (Old Man of the Sea)

∙ Shapeshifter

 Theseus

o Notable descendants

 Pegasus

 Cerberus

 The Lernaean Hydra

 The Chimaera

 The Theban Sphinx

 The Nemean Lion

∙ Athena

o Daughter of Zeus and Metis

 Zeus ate Metis

 Zeus had a headache so his skull was split open with an axe  Born from Zeus’ skull

 In full battle dress

 Born from man, not woman

o Goddess of war and wisdom

 Combination of highest aspects of man and woman

 Zeus’ favorite child

o Patron goddess of Athens

 Contest with Poseidon

∙ Poseidon offers a salt spring

∙ Athena offers and olive tree

 Poseidon remains important to Athenians

o Pallas Athena Tritogeneia

 Origins, meaning of names disputed

 Pallas

∙ Daughter of Triton, friend of Athena

∙ Maiden

o Glaukopis

 Grey-eyed, shining eyed

o Athena and Arachne

 Skilled weaver, may be compared to the gods

 Arachne feels better than the gods

 Athena has a contest and wins

 Arachne hangs herself but Athena turns her into a spider  Hubris/Nemesis

o Parthenon

 On Athenian acropolis

 Panathenaea

∙ Athenian festival honoring Athena

o Appearance

 Helmet and Spear

 The Aegis

 Accompanied by an owl

 Athena Nike

∙ Accompanied by winged Nike

Aphrodite and Eros

∙ Aphrodite

o Origin

 Associations with

∙ Cythera

∙ Cyprus

 Called

∙ Cytherea

∙ Cypris

o Twin aspects

 Aphrodite Urania (Celestial Aphrodite)

∙ Sprung from Uranus alone

∙ Ethereal and sublime

 Aphrodite Pandemos (Aphrodite and All the People) ∙ Sprung from Zeus and Dione

∙ Physical in nature

o Nature and Appearance

 Goddess of beauty, love, and marriage

∙ Laughter-loving

∙ Sweetly-smiling

 Temple Prostitution

∙ Occasional

∙ Young women are prostitutes in a temple to worship  Aphrodite

∙ Associated with the near east

 Magic girdle

∙ Irresistible powers of enticement

∙ Hera has borrowed it to entice Zeus

 Archaic/Early Classical period (800-400BC)

∙ Beautiful woman

∙ Typically clothed

 Late Classical/Hellenistic periods (400-31BC)

∙ Idealization of womanhood

∙ Often nude

o Attendants

 The Graces (Charites)

∙ Three in number

∙ Personifications of aspects of loveliness

 The Hours (Horae)

∙ Children of Zeus and Themis

∙ Eventually become the Seasons

o Priapus

 Son of Aphrodite

∙ Deformed with huge, erect phallus

 Comic, pornographic

 Popular charm

∙ Good luck

∙ Apotropaic device

∙ Houses, gardens

o Pygmalion

 Women of Cyprus denied Aphrodite’s deity

 Turned into prostitutes

 Transformed into stone

 Destroys people through love

 Pygmalion repelled by scandalous women

 Sculpts the ideal woman

 Prayer to Aphrodite

∙ Galatea

 Modern portrayals

∙ My Fair Lady

∙ Pretty Woman

o Aphrodite and Adonis

 Cinyrus

∙ Grandchild of Pygmalion

∙ Loved by daughter (Myrrha)

∙ Myrrha becomes myrrh tree

∙ Adonis born from tree

 Adonis

∙ Beloved by Aphrodite

∙ Killed hunting

∙ Transformed into anemone

o Aphrodite and Anchises

 The revenge of Zeus

∙ Aphrodite and Anchises

o Fall in love and give birth to Aeneas

∙ Anchises’ suffering

o Couldn’t tell anyone about Aphrodite but he does

o Screams it to a hole

o Gods strike him with lightning

o Aeneas must carry him out of the sea

∙ Eros

o Two origin stories

 Cosmic deity (Hesiod)

 Child of Ares and Aphrodite

o Two representations

 Mischievous child

 Beautiful young man

o Plato’s Eros

 Plato’s Symposium

∙ Platonic Love

∙ Dinner party where they all talk about love

 Eros as creative force

 Philosophic love of wisdom

o Cupid and Psyche

 The Golden Ass

∙ Apuleius wrote this

∙ Guys gets told into a golden donkey and has adventures

 Fairy Tale-ish

∙ Once upon a time

∙ Three sisters

o One is the most beautiful women on earth

o Two others marry rich, ugly, old men

∙ Curse from Aphrodite

∙ Unknown suitor

o Never sees him or something bad will happen

o Sisters tell her that he’s an actual snake

o Sees that he is Cupid and now she can’t see him

∙ Happily ever after

o She is turned into a goddess and marries Cupid

Chapter 10

∙ Artemis

o Birth

 Child of Zeus and Leto

∙ Twin sister of Apollo

 Born on Mt. Cynthus on Delos

∙ Called Cynthia

o Appearance and Nature

 Virgin goddess

∙ Associated with child-birth, the hunt

 Short skirt, sandals, loose clothing

 Bow and arrow

o Niobe, Queen of Thebes

 Women of Thebes honor Leto and children

 Niobe’s boast

∙ Rich, beautiful, queen, mother of seven

∙ Is jealous of Leto’s honor

 Leto sends Artemis and Apollo to kill Niobe’s children

 The vengeance of the gods

∙ Niobe is turned into stone

∙ Set on a mountain top in Phrygia

o Acteon

 Artemis at the spring with her attendants

 Innocence of Acteon

∙ He sees Artemis naked

∙ Turned into a deer who his dogs eat

 Punishment

∙ Sacred chastity of Artemis

o Callisto and Arcas

 Callisto is a devout follower of Artemis

∙ Love to hunt

∙ Shun sexuality

 Loved by Zeus

∙ Banned by Artemis

∙ Gave birth to Arcas

 Punished by Hera

∙ Turned into a bear

∙ Arcas kills the bear

 Ursa Major, Ursa Minor

∙ Zeus has them turned into constellations

o Orion

 Attempts to kill all animals

 Killed by giant scorpion

 Artemis turns him into constellation

o Origin of Artemis

 Fertility goddess?

∙ Association with childbirth, young humans/animals

 Goddess of moon

∙ Association with menstrual cycle

 Goddess of nature

∙ Virgin huntress

 Misandry (hatred of men)

 Lesbian overtones

∙ Virginal, pure

The Hippolytus

∙ Some Major Themes

o The arrogance of chastity

o The humanness of sin

o The injustice of the man/god relationship

∙ Chastity

o Hippolytus refusing to honor Aphrodite

o He’s a follower of Artemis

o Hippolytus learns about his mother’s feelings through the nurse o Hippolytus is not fond of women as they punish him

o He is dragged to death by his horses

o His step mother makes advances on him, he rejects, she hangs herself  and blames him, the father banishes him, the gods kill him

∙ Sin

o Phaedra hates adulterers and hypocrits

∙ The Gods

o Aphrodite

o Artemis


∙ Birth

o Leto and Zeus

 Twin brother of Artemis

 Born in Delos

 Nursed by Themis with ambrosia and nectar

o Associated with prophecy, the lyre, archery

∙ Delos

o Sacred as birthplace of Apollo

o Important temple complex

o Home of Delian League

∙ Delphi

o Foot of Mt. Parnassus

o Defeat of the dragon (Python)

 Pytho

∙ “I rot”

∙ The sun rotting the dragon

 The Omphalos

∙ “Navel of the World”

∙ Apollo Delphinius

o Apollo as a dolphin

o Cretan priests

∙ Pythian Games

o Athletic, intellectual games

o Second only to Olympics

∙ Temple Complex

∙ Near Athens

o International

o Amphictyonic Council

∙ The Oracle

o Offering, sacrifice by inquirer

o Love bronze tripods and bowls

o The Pythia

 A woman that goes into a trance and says stuff o The priest or prophet

o Closed in winter

 Apollo in land of Hyperboreans

∙ The Loves of Apollo

o Attempted affairs

o Cumaean Sibyl

 Prophecy

 Life without youth

o Cassandra

 Prophecy in vain

 Can see the future but no one will ever believe her o Marpessa

 Grandchild of Ares

 Chose mortal (Idas) over Apollo

o Cyrene

 Athletic nymph

 Success!

 Child, Aristaeus

∙ Beekeeper

o Daphne

 The sacred laurel

 Saved from Apollo and turned into a tree

o Hyacinth

 Spartan youth

 Killed by discus (death by frisbee)

o Cyparissus

 Youth from Ceos

 Loss of deer

∙ Cyparissus loves the deer

∙ Accidentally hits it with a spear

 The Cyprus

∙ Asclepius

o Son of Apollo with Coronis

o Coronis

 Affair with a Thessalian

 Apollo’s vengeful arrows

∙ Accidentally kills her

∙ She is pregnant with his child

 Birth of Asclepius

∙ God of Healing

o Incubation (sleeping in holy place)

o Asclepius vs Hermes

 Staff or Caduceus

∙ 1 rod and 1 snake

∙ 1 rod, 2 wings, 2 snakes

∙ Musical Contests

o Marsyas the satyr

 Challenges Apollo to a contest with a lyre

 Winner gets to do what they want with the loser

 Flayed alive

o Pan

 Flute vs Lyre

 Battles Apollo

 Midas’ ears transformed into a donkey’s ears


∙ Birth

o Zeus and Maia (daughter of Atlas)

o Messenger of the gods

o Mercury

∙ Nature of Hermes

o Thief, rogue

 Archetypal trickster

 God of thieves

o Messenger

 Travelers hat

 Sandals

 Wings

 Caduceus (Herald’s wand)

∙ Athenian Herms

o Sicilian Expedition (415 BC)

o Alcibiades

∙ Hermes Trismegistus

o Magic and Divine power

o The pan (all)

∙ Hermes and Aphrodite

o Had an affair

o Made Hermaphroditus

 Loved by Salmacis the nymph

 He didn’t like her

 She hid and then tried to be with him

 Gods pitied her and fused them into one making a  hermaphrodite

Dionysus, Pan, Echo, and Narcissus


∙ Birth, Childhood and Origin

o Zeus and Semele

 Hera’s wrath

 Semele destroyed from seeing Zeus in his true form o Dionysus rescued

 Incubated in Zeus’ thigh

o Phrygian (Turkish)?

 Mycenaean Age

∙ God of

o Vegetation

o The vine, the grape

o Making wine

o Mob fury

o Religious ecstasy

∙ Nature of Dionysus and his worship

o Ecstatic spiritual release through music and dance o Possession of follower by the god

o Ripping apart of animal and eating raw flesh

o Male leader

 Plays the part of Dionysus

o Bacchae (Maenads)

 Female devotees

 Mortal women who become possessed

∙ Dionysia

o Second in importance to Panathenaea

o Competitions

 Tragedy

∙ Trilogies and satyr play

 Comedy

∙ Satyrs

o Male counterparts to Maenads

o Part man, part animal

o Love singing, music, wine

o Sexually aggressive

 Often chasing maenads

∙ Sileni

o Older, more lecherous versions of satyrs

∙ Midas

o Silenus escaped from Dionysus

o Midas finds him and brings him back to Dionysus

o Offers Midas a gift

 The Golden Touch

o Touches his daughter and turns her to gold

o The river Pactolus cures him of his gift

∙ Pan

o Similar to Satyrs and Sileni

 Horns, ears, legs of a goat

 Love of music

∙ Creation of panpipe (syrinx)

 Lustful

o Various origin stories

 Hermes/Apollo

 Musician

 God of shepherds

o Honored by Athenians

 Appearance to Phidippides

Echo and Narcissus

∙ Narcissus the beautiful youth

∙ Echo the talkative nymph

∙ Only the voice remains

o Hera punished her so that she could only repeat what was said to her ∙ Narcissus

o Echo fell in love with him

o He also fell in love with himself

o Nemesis rose up against him

o He found his reflection in the water and fell in and drowned o Made into the Narcissus flower

o Narcissism

The Bacchae

∙ Themes

o Hubris

 Disrespect of gods

 Atheism

o Inequity of man/god relationship

o Righteousness of divine punishment

∙ The Capture of Dionysus

o Capture Dionysus in chains

o They ridicule him because he was a god and got captured o He was threatened with torture and death

∙ The Fate of Pentheus

o Profaning the ceremony

 Tricks him into dressing as a woman

o A just death

 Thought he was an animal and kill him

Demeter and the Eleusinian Mysteries

∙ The Myth

o The rape of Persephone

o The wandering of Demeter

 The palace of Celeus

 Nursing Demophoon

o Demeter recalled by Zeus

o Persephone and Hades

 The pomegranate

o The Seasons

o The Mysteries

∙ Interpretation

o Birth-Death-Rebirth

 Crop cycle

o Zeus-Demeter

 Sky God-Earth Mother

o Redemption/Immortality of the soul

 Demophoon

 Mysteries

∙ The Eleusinian Mysteries

o Elueusis

 Near Athens

o Not for everyone

o Open to men, women, children, and slaves

o Secret ceremony

 Hymn to Demeter most important source

 Alcibiades

o Lesser Mysteries

 Preliminary steps

o Greater Mysteries

 Full initiation

View of the Afterlife: The Realm of Hades

∙ The Underworld

o Realm of Hades

o Eternal existence

o Development of views over time

∙ Homer

o The Odyssey (Book 11)

o Odysseus

 Shades need blood

 Tiresias the blind seer

 Parade of Heroes

∙ Achilles

∙ Agamemnon

∙ Ajax

o Punishments

 Tantalus

 Sisyophus

o Joyless eternal existence

∙ Plato

o Myth of Er

 The Republic

o Afterlife

 Judgement

 Reward

o Reincarnation

 Choice of life

 The river Lethe

 Rebirth

∙ Vergil

o The Aeneid

 1st century BC

o Aeneas

 Trojan Hero

 Father of Roman race

o Descent in Italy

 Charon, the Ferryman

∙ River Acheron

 Mythological catalogue

∙ Centaurs, gorgons, Briareus, Harpies, etc.

∙ Cerberus

 Divided realms

∙ Fields of Mourning

o Wasted and consumed by “relentless and cruel  


o Dido

∙ Fields of heroes

o Died in combat

∙ Tartarus

o Punishment for the wicked

o Sisyphus, Titans

∙ Elysian Fields

o Paradise

o Anchises (Aeneas’ father)

Orpheus and Orphism

∙ Orpheus and Eurydice

o Orpheus plays music and everyone falls for it

o Death of Eurydice

 Snakebite

o Katabasis

 Don’t look back

o No second chances

o Orpheus’ misogyny

 Origin of homosexuality in Thrace

o Death

 Frenzied gang of women

∙ Orphism

o Mystery Religion

 Dionysus

o Vegetarians

o Transmigration of the soul

o Emphasis on Musical Harmony

o Influence on Plato and Vergil

The Theban Saga

∙ The Founding of Thebes

o More of a rival to Athens than Sparta

o Europa

 Princess abducted from Tyre by Zeus

∙ Zeus turns himself into a handsome bull

 Taken to Crete

∙ Turns back into Zeus

 Mother of Minos

o Cadmus

 Brother of Europa

 Sets out to find sister

 Found city

∙ Cadmeia in Boeotia

o Cadmus kills snake which is a holy snake

o Founds city called Cadmeia in honor of the snake

o Becomes Thebes

 Sewing the Dragons teeth

∙ 5 survivors called “Spartoi” (sown men)

∙ Marriage to Harmonia

o Daughter of Ares and Aphrodite

∙ Introduced writing

∙ Transformed into serpents

o Death of Pentheus

 New dynasty

o Lycus

 Son of Chthonius (one of Spartoi)

 Lycus and Dirce killed by nephews (Amphion and Zethus) o Amphion and Zethus

 Renamed the city “Thebes”

o Laius

 Takes trone after death of Amphion and Zethus

 Guest-friend with Pelops (King of Elis)

 Abducted and raped Chrysippus (son of Pelops)

∙ Suicide in shame

∙ Origin of homosexuality

 Laius and Jocasta

∙ Cursed by Zeus

o Son will kill him

 Circumvention of fate

∙ Exposure of Oedipus

∙ Given to Corinthian shepherd

∙ Raised by Polybus (King of Corinth)

 Oedipus

∙ The Delphic Oracle

o Avoid home

∙ Travels to Thebes because he thought Corinth was his  


∙ Teiresias

o Multiple stories

 Revealed too much truth to humans

∙ Blinded by gods

 Saw Athena naked

∙ Blinded by Athena

 Saw two snakes coupling

∙ Changed from man into woman for 7 years

 Argument between Zeus and Hera

∙ Blinded b Hera

∙ Gift of prophecy from Zeus

∙ The Seven Against Thebes

o Curse of Oedipus

 Eteocles and Polynices

∙ Always at war

∙ Should kill each other

 Polynices in exile

∙ Marriage to Argea (daughter of Adrastus, king of Argos)

 Attempt to reclaim throne

∙ Seven gates of Thebes

∙ Seven leaders

o Adrastus

o Polynices

o Tydeus (ate brain)

o Capaneus

o Hippomedon

o Parthenopaeus

o Amphiaraus

∙ Prophecy/curse fulfilled

o Polynices and Eteocles die

∙ Antigone

o Creon

 New King of Thebes

 Forbids burial for Polynices

o Symbolic burial

 Condemned to be buried alive

 Tragedy ensues

∙ Suicides of Antigone, Haemon (Creon’s son), and Eurydice

(Creon’s wife)

o Limits of human law

o Universality of divine law

Oedipus Tyrannus

∙ Themes

o Inevitability of fate

o Inevitability of judgement

o Enduring sin

 Horror inspired by horror

∙ Oedipus

o Abandoned at birth

o Raised in Corinth

 Polybus and Merope

o Escaping fate

 Wandering north

o Meeting with Laius

o Killing the father

 Mythic theme

 Diving punishment

o Thebes

 The Sphinx

∙ The Riddle

o What is it that has one name that is four-footed,  

two-footed, and three-footed?

o The Conflict

 Since Laius is dead and the riddle was solved

 Oedipus becomes king and marries his mother

∙ The have kids

∙ But there is a curse that falls on the city of infertility

o Caused by a hidden pollution

o Needs to get rid of the person causing this

o Ironic attempt at justice as he is the pollution

o Calls himself righteous

 Conflict with Teiresias

∙ Teiresias doesn’t want to tell Oedipus who it is

 The Necessity of Judgement

 The Realization

∙ The people figure out what has happened

 The Necessity of truth

 The Resolution

∙ Jocasta’s Suicide

∙ Blind Oedipus

o Uncovering his mother

 The Outcast

 The Final Judgement

o Oedipus Complex

o Genetic Sexual Attraction


∙ Some themes

o Divine law versus human law

o Tension between law and justice

o Loyalty to family and loyalty to state

∙ Divine Law vs Human Law

o Antigone

 To Ismene: You may do as you like since apparently the laws of  god mean nothing to you

∙ Law and Justice

o Ismene to Antigone

 The law is strong, we must give in to the law in this thing, and in  worse. I beg the dead to forgive me, but I am helpless: I must  

yield to those in authority.

o Antigone to Creon

 And if I must die now, before it is my time to die, Surely this is  no hardship: can anyone living, as I live, with evil all about me,  

Think Death less than a friend?

∙ Family vs State

o Antigone to Ismene

 There it is, And now you can prove what you are: A true sister, or a traitor to your family.

o Creon to People

 And as for the man who sets private friendship above the public  welfare, I have no use for him, either.

∙ The Inflexibility of Law

o Human and Divine

The Mycenaean Saga

∙ Mycenae

∙ The House of Atreus

∙ Tantalus and Pelops

o Friend of the gods

o Pelops for dinner

 His son

o Human sacrifice/cannibalism

o Pelops

 Restored to life

 Suitor of Hippodamia

∙ Daughter of Oenomaus

o Oenomaus holds contest for his daughter

∙ Princess of Pisa

o Included Olympia

∙ Honored at Olympia

∙ Peloponnese

∙ The chariot race

o The aid of Poseidon

o The aid of Myrtilus

∙ Myrtilus the rapist

o Death

o Curse

∙ Atreus and Thyestes

o Children of Pelops

 Quarrel over kingdom

o Atreus and his golden ram

 Thyestes and Aerope

o King Thyestes

 Golden fleece wins the kingdom

o Atreus returns

 The sun goes backwards

 King Atreus

o The Banquet of Thyestes

 Served Thyestes children for dinner

o Another curse

o Thyestes revenge

 Rapes daughter (Pelopia)

 Aegisthus

∙ Raised by Atreus

∙ Vengeance against Atreus

 Thyestes and Aegisthus rule

∙ Agamemnon

o Agamemnon and Menelaus are the sons of Atreus

o The daughters of Tyndareus, king of Sparta

 Helen

 Clytemnestra

o Agamemnon the king of Mycenae

 Thysestes and Aegisthus in exile

o Helen and Paris

 Helen is married to Menelaus

 Helen runs away with Paris

o Trojan War

 The Thousand ships

∙ Greece brought together ships to bring back Helen

 Iphigenia

∙ Agamemnon’s daughter who if killed would give him a win

at Troy

o Rage of Clytemnestra

 Plots Agamemnon’s death

o The Return of Aegisthus

 Consoles Clytemnestra and begins an affair with her

o Agamemnon the conqueror

 Cassandra

∙ A slave girl that he brings home

∙ Introduces her to his wife

o Agamemnon the fool

 Clytemnestra kills him and Cassandra in the bath

o Aegisthus and Clytemnestra

 Have children

∙ Orestes and Electra

o Orestes in exile

o Orestes and Electra plot

o Revenge

 Matricide

 Kill Clytemnestra and Aegisthus

o Orestes and the Furies

 Punish Orestes for killing his mother

 Runs to Athens

 Athena attends a trial

∙ Conclude that cycles of vengeance are destructive

o The Eumenides

 What the Furies are turned into

 Kind spirits instead of demons

The Agamemnon

∙ Historical Context

o Mid 5th Century (458 BC)

o After Persian Wars

o Democracy/Tyranny

∙ Dramatic Context

o Curse of the House of Atreus

 Miasma – stain of sin on family

o End of Trojan War

 Agamemnon the conqueror

∙ Some Themes

o Cycle of revenge

o Horror of War

o Human response to divine will

 Hubris/Despondency

o Gender roles

 Women

∙ Easily swayed through emotion

∙ Helen caused a war by not really doing anything

∙ Cassandra tries to warn Agamemnon about their death,  

but no one believes her

∙ Clytemnestra reacts to Agamemnon and Cassandra

∙ Cassandra is gonna have to die

∙ Clytemnestra tries to control her life

∙ Clytemnestra is the hero and dominant character

o Has to remind people that she is a woman

o People consider her a man

∙ Aegisthus tries to take credit for Clytemnestras acts but  

takes the role of woman

The Agamemnon

∙ Human Response to Divine Will

o Through hardship and pain, you develop value

o Hubris by seeing themselves as useful and important to gods ∙ The Horrors of War

o You need to be right about war

The Electra

∙ The Historical Background

o 413-410 BC

o Peloponnesian War

 431-404 BC

o Questioning Greek Society

∙ A small play

o Common topics

 Poverty

 Nobility

∙ The recognition of Orestes

∙ Family obligations

o Avenge the father

o Clytemnestra’s justification

o “…I would not have killed my husband. But he came back to me with  his girlfriend…”

o “…when a husband is at fault and thrusts aside his home marriage, a  woman likes to imitate the man and take another friend and criticism  of us flares up while the men who caused it all keep their good name.” ∙ Grander Themes

o Questioning of traditional values

o Questioning of divine wisdom

o Questioning the justice of seeking justice

∙ Traditional Values

o Vengeance

 “Kill her as she killed you father and mine.”

∙ Divine Wisdom

o “O Phoebus, your pronouncement was full of folly”

∙ The Justice of Seeking Justice

o Electra: If you do not avenge your father, you will be unholy then too The Trojan Saga and the Illiad

∙ The Dioscuri

o Castor

 Son of Leda and Tyndareus

 Twin of Clytemnestra

 Tamer of horses

o Polydeuces

 Son of Leda and Zeus

 Twin of Helen

 Boxer

o Born from eggs

∙ Argonauts

∙ Polydeuces’ prayer

o Brothers share immortality, death

o Constellation “Gemini”

∙ Helen

o Princess/Queen of Troy

 Marriage to Menelaus

 Hermione

∙ Paris (Alexander)

o To Troy?

o To Egypt?

∙ The Judgement of Paris

o Wedding of Peleus and Thetis

o Eris (Discord)

 The Golden Fruit

 “For the most beautiful”

o The conflict

 Hera, Athena, Aphrodite

o Zeus’ role

o Paris

 Son of Priam and Hecuba

 Prophecy of doom

∙ Abandoned at birth

∙ Saved by shepherd

o The Bribes

 Hera

∙ Royal Power

 Athena

∙ Victory in war

 Aphrodite

∙ Love of the most beautiful woman in the world

 The judgement

∙ Troy

o Dardanus

 Son of Zeus and Electra

 Moved to Troad

 Married Batea (daughter of Teucer)

 Royal house of Troy

 Teucrians/Dardanians

o Laomedon

 Had walls of troy builty by Apollo and Poseidon

 Father of Priam

o Priam

 King of Troy

 50 sons, 12 daughters

o Paris

 Favored by Aphrodite

o Hector

 Champion of the Trojans

 Andromache and Astyanax

∙ Juxtaposed with Paris and Helen Cassandra

o Daughter of Priam

∙ Polyxena

o Daughter of Priam

o Sacrificed by Greeks after war (Achilles share of the prize) ∙ Aeneas

o Son of Anchises and Aphrodite

o Survivor of Troy

o Father of the Roman people

∙ Antenor

o Opposed war

o Allowed to flee to Italy

o Founded Padua

∙ Glaucus

o Leader of Lycians

o Guest-friend of Diomedes

o Killed by Ajax

∙ Sarpedon

o Son of Zeus and Laodamia

o The scales of fate

∙ Trojan Allies

o Memnon

 King of Ethiopians

 Killed by Achilles

o Penthesilea

 Amazons

 Killed by Achilles

∙ The Achaean Leaders

o Agamemnon

 King of Mycenae

o Menelaus

 King of Sparta

 Husband of Helen

o Diomedes

 King of Argos

 Wounds Ares and Aphrodite

 Friend of Odysseus

o Nestor

 King of Pylos

o Ajax the Greater

 Son of Telammon

 Rival of Odysseus

o Ajax the Lesser

 Son of Oileus

 Raped Cassandra

o Idomeneus

 Leader of Cretans

o Odysseus

 Craftiest of Greeks

 Night Raid

o Achilles

 Son of Thetis and Peleus

 Nearly immortal

∙ Dipped in the river Styx

 Raised by Chiron

 Attempted to avoid war

 Greatest warrior

 Subject of Illiad

 Model for Heroes/warriors

o Patroclus

 Friend of Achilles

 Relationship

∙ The Beginning

o The Gathering

 At Aulis

 Nearly 1200 ships

 Sacrifice of Iphigenia

o The Beachhead

 Walls of Troy

 Raids against neighbors

 9 fruitless years of war

∙ The Iliad

o 9th year of war

o Quarrel between Achilles and Agamemnon

 Chryseis, daughter of Chryses, given to Agamemnon  The Plague

 The Resolution

∙ Briseis

o The Heroic Code

 Glory in war

∙ Deeds of combat

∙ Prize as symbol of glory, respect

o Chriseis, Briseis

∙ Accept no insults

∙ Achilles as consummate hero

 Achilles’ Pride

∙ The Greeks abandoned

 The god’s involvement

∙ Thetis’ plea

∙ Zeus and Hera

o The War Continues

 Menelaus and Paris

∙ Intervention of Aphrodite

 Helen’s self-pity

 Achilles rejects the Greeks

o Theomachy

 God’s in combat

o Hector in action

 Setting fire to the ships

 The duel with Patroclus

∙ In Achilles’ armor

o Achilles’ Anger

 Long life vs vengeance

o Hector and Achilles

 Achilles in new armor

 Hector in Patroclus’ armor

 Achilles

∙ Hatred for Hector

∙ Glories over body of Hector

∙ Desecration of body

 Hector

∙ Duty, Honor

∙ Shattered nerves

∙ Deception of the goods (Athena)

∙ Attempt to find a good death

 Retrieval of the body

 Funeral games of Patroclus

∙ Odysseus and Ajax

 Funeral of Hector

The Trojan Saga and the Iliad

∙ The War Continues

o The death of Achilles

 Paris the archer

o The armor of Achilles

 Odysseus and Ajax

o Death of Paris

The Fall of Troy

∙ The Wooden Horse

o Odysseus

o Sinon

 Left behind

o Laocoon

 “I fear the Greeks, even bearing gifts”

 The serpents

o Helen

 Deception

o Night attack

∙ The Sack

o The Aeneid

o Priam

 Killed by Neoptolemus (Phyrrus)

o Andromahce and Astyanax

o Helen

 Spared

o Aeneas

 Escape to Italy

The Returns and the Odyssey

∙ The Nostoi

o The glory and horror of war

o Offending the gods

 Desecration of temples

 Vengeance upon the victors

o Nestor

 Safe return to Pylos

o Agamemnon

o Menelaus

 Egypt

 Happily ever after?

 Telemachus

o Diomedes

 Return to Argos

 Aphrodites revenge

 Land in Apuka

 Rejection of war

o Neoptlemus

 Avoid the sea

 Epirus

 Andromache the concubine

∙ Ancestors of Alexander the Great

 Hermione the wife

 Death

∙ Andromahce and Helenus

o A new life

∙ Odysseus

o Iliad

 War

o Odyssey  

 Adventure

 Home

o The Odyssey

 Making of an epic

∙ Worthy hero

∙ Hostile god (Poseidon)

∙ Chaos at home

∙ Strange experiences

∙ Monsters and villains

∙ Triumphant return

∙ In medias res

o Clever

o Adventurous

o Insatiable curiosity

∙ Telemachy

o Opening episode

o The Problem

 20 years absence from kingdom

 Penelope

 Suitors

o Telemachus’ coming of age

o In search of Odysseus

o Meeting with Nestor, Menelaus, Helen

∙ Ogygia

o 7 years with Calypso

o Days and Nights

o Thoughts of home

∙ The Phaecians

o The story begins…

∙ The Cicones

o “I sacked this place and destroyed its menfolk. The women and the  vast plunder that we took from the town we divided so that no one, as  far as I could help it, should go short of his proper share”

o Odysseus the pirate

o “And then I said we must escape with all possible speed. But my fools  of men refused”

o Nature of Homeric kingship

o Independence of Greeks

o Cursed by the gods?

∙ Land of the Lotus Eaters

o “I sent some of my followers inland to find out what sort of human  beings might be here…”

o Narcotics?

∙ The Cyclopes

o “a fierce, lawless people who never lift a hand to plant or plough but  just leave everything to the immortal gods”

o “The cyclopes have no assemblies for the making of laws, nor any  established legal codes, but live in hollow caverns in the mountain  heights where each man is the lawgiver to his own children and women and nobody has the slightest interest in what his neighbors decide”

o “For the time being stay here, while I go in my ship with my crew to  find out what kind of men are over there, and whether they are  aggressive savages with no sense or right or wrong or hospitable and  god-fearing people.”

∙ Polyphemus

o “Outis” (nobody)

o The guest gift

o Clever odysseus

o Blinding Polyphemus

o The escape

o Hubris

o Polyphemus’ curse

∙ Aeolus

o Greed of the men

o Cursed by the gods

∙ Laestrygonians

o Odysseus saves himself

o The fleet lost

∙ Circe

o The island of Aenaea

o Odysseus still curious

o Revolt of the men

o Circe the goddess

 The men as pigs

o Odysseus the conqueror

o A year on the island

∙ The Underworld

o Tiresias

 Dangers to come

o Role of heroes

o Agamemnon

 Penelope?

 Antiaclea

∙ Sirens

o The desire to experience everything

∙ Planctae (crashing cliffs) or Scylla and Charybdis? ∙ Dueling Scylla

o Odysseus the warrior

∙ The Island of Thrinacia

o Cattle of the Sun

o Disrespect the gods

o Half-hearted sacrifice

o Punishment of the gods

 Odysseus alone

∙ Ogygia

o Calypso

∙ The Phaeicians

∙ Return to Ithaca

o In disguise

o Faithfulness of Argos

o Testing the loyal

∙ The Bow

o 12 axe heads

∙ The Killing of the Suitors

o Telemachus as a hero

∙ Vengeance on the servants

∙ Odysseus and Penelope

o Circumspect Penelope

o The riddle of the bed

∙ The attack of the families

∙ Resolution

o Athena intervenes

o Deus ex machina

Chapter 21: Perseus and the Legends of Argos

∙ The Argolid

o Tiryns, Argos, Mycenae

 Often interchangeable in myth

o Many heroes

 Perseus, Heracles, the House of Atreus

∙ Argos

o Associated with Hera

o Chosen over Poseidon

∙ Perseus

o Acrisius

 Prophecy about grandchild

 Danae locked in chamber

 Zeus

o The birth of Perseus

 Wrath of Acrisius

 Island of Seriphos

o The banquet of Polydectes

 Polydectes love for Danae

 Perseus’ boast

 The head of the Medusa

o Help of the gods

 Athena and Hermes

∙ The Graeae

o One eye, one tooth

o Directions to nymphs for weapons

 Cap of invisibility

 Winged sandals

 Kibisis (bag)

 Scimitar

∙ The Gorgons

o Snake-haired

o Turn to stone

∙ Perseus and Medusa

o Pegasus

o Chrysaor (He of the Golden Sword)

∙ Andromeda

o Daughter of Cepheus

o Ethiopia? Levant?

o Offering to sea monster

o Perseus intervenes

o Killing the suitors

∙ The return trip

o Atlas Mountains

o Snakes of Libya

o Coral in ocean

∙ Trouble in Seriphos

o Danae and Dictys under siege

o Perseus and Polydectes

o Dictys as king

o Return of the weapons

∙ Acrisus meets his fate

o Accidentally hit with discus

∙ Perseus founds Mycenae

o Notable descendants

 Heracles

 Eurystheus


∙ Birth

o Amphitryon

 Brother of Electryon, king of Mycenae

 Exiled for killing his brother

 Purified in Thebes by Creon

o Alcmena

 Daughter of Electryon

 Married to Amphitryon

∙ War Against Teleboans

o Electryon is visited by Zeus in Amphitryons form o Return of the real Amphitryon

o Twins

 Heracles

 Iphicles

∙ The Anger of Hera

o Continual theme

o Serpents at birth

∙ Early Exploits

o Education for a hero

 Chariot driving

 Wrestling

 Archery

 Music

o Killed Linus (music teacher)

 Sent to Mt. Cithaeron

o Killed lion on Mt. Cithaeron

o One night in Thespiae

 50 daughters of Thespius

∙ Got them all pregnant

o Freed Thebans from tribute to Minyans

 Given Megara (daughter of Creon)

∙ Madness

o Infected by Hera

 Kills Megara and children

 Leaves Thebes

o Purified at Thespiae

o Delphic Oracle

 12 years service to Eurystheus

∙ 12 Labors of Heracles

o 12 labors but only required to do 10

o The Nemean Lion (1)

 Invulnerable to weapons

 Symbols of Heracles

 Strangulation

o The Lernaean Hydra (2)

 Swamps of Lerna, near Argos

 Nine heads

∙ If one is cut off, two grow back

 Hydra aided by giant crab

 Heracles aided by Iolaus

 Dipped arrows in the poisonous blood of the hydra o Cerynean Hind (3)

 Golden antlers

 Bronze hooves

 Faster than an arrow

 A year in pursuit

 Anger of Artemis

o Erymanthian Boar (4)

 Brought back alive

 Side adventure

∙ Pholus the Centaur

∙ War wit Centaurs

o The Augean Stables (5)

 Diversion of the river

 Augeas refuses payment

 The return of Heracles

 Side adventure

∙ Founding of the Olympics

o The Stymphalian Birds (6)

 Brazen castanets

o The Cretan Bull (7)

 Captured and given to Eurystheus

o The Mares of Diomedes (8)

 Man eating horses

 Side adventure

∙ Wrestling Thanatos (Death) to retrieve Alcetis, wife of  

Admetus, king of Pherae

o Girdle of Hippolyta (9)

 Side Adventure

∙ Rescuing Hesione, daughter of Laomedon, king of Troy

o The Cattle of Geryon (10)

 The Pillars of Hercules

 Side Adventure

∙ Cacus

o Apples of Hesperides (11)

 Golden Apples of eternal life

 Struggle with Proteus

 Aid of Atlas

 Victory of Ladon

 Side Adventure

∙ Wrestling Antaeus

∙ Freeing Prometheus


∙ Cerberus (12)

o Rescue of Theseus

o Promise to Meleager

 Marriage to Deianira

∙ Other Adventures

o The Argonauts

 Hylas, Heracles’ friend/lover/weaponbearer

 Nymphs fall in love with Hylas and Hylas stays

o Zeus’ war against Giants

 Alcyoneus is fought by Heracles

o Attack on Troy

 Laomedon, king of Troy

 Heracles comes back and sacks Troy

 Leaves only Priam alive

∙ Death

o Deianira

 Wrestling with Achelous, shapeshifting river god for the marriage  Heracles wins

o Nessus the centaur

 Nessus is a ferryman that takes Deianira across the river and  tries to take her

 Poisoned arrows are used by Heracles to kill Nessus

 Nessus promises a potion that will keep Heracles’ faith

∙ Doesn’t work

o Other women

 Iole  

∙ Appeals to Heracles

∙ Deianira tries the potion

∙ Kills Heracles

∙ He goes to Olympus

∙ Has children with Hebe

 The end

Theseus and the Legends of Athens

∙ Origin

o Autocthonous

 Athenian came from the earth itself

 Never came from anywhere else

o Cecrops

 Founder of Cecropia (Attica)

 He’s a giant snake man

o The contest

 Athena and Poseidon

 Olives or Salt Water?

 Athena won and Cecropia becomes Athens and Attica

o Birth of Erichthonius

 Hephaestus and Athena

 Hephaestus fell in love with Athena and chases her

 Erichthonius is a snake creature born from the earth and  


 Athena puts it in a box

o Daughters of Cecrops, Pandrosos, Auglauros, Herse

 Erichthonius and the box

 Athena tells them not to look in the box

 They look in the box and then jump of the cliff

 Don’t die

o Erechtheus

 Grandson of Erechthonius

 Defended Athens from Eleusinians

∙ Sacrifice of daughters

∙ Theseus

o Son of Aegeas (or Poseidon)

 Son of Pandion; Son of Cecrops; Son of Erechtheus

o Greatest Athenian Hero

 Similar to Heracles

∙ They are friends

 Labors and Adventures

o Theseus’ Six Labors

 Traveling from Troezen to Athens

∙ Killed brigand Periphetes (Corynetes, “Club Man”)

o Steals his club

o Lion skin and club are Heracles

o Just club is Theseus

∙ Killed robber Sinis (Pituocamptes, “Pine Bender”)

∙ Monster Sow

o Theseus kills it

∙ Killed brigand Sciron

o Pushed over cliff, eaten by turtle

∙ Killed Cercyon

o Wrestling match

∙ Killed Procrsustes (“The Stretcher”)

o A hammer, a saw, and a bed

o He lets people stay in bed

 If you’re short he puts you in a long bed and  

beats you into a flat long thing

 If you’re long he puts you in a short bed he  

saws off the pieces that don’t fit

 The Minotaur

∙ Minos and the bull of Poseidon

o Was supposed to sacrifice it but it was too beautiful

o Sacrificed another bull

o Always sacrifice correctly

∙ Vengeance

o Pasiphae and the bull

 Gods make Minos’ wife fall in love with the  


o Daedalus and the contraption

 Helps her seduce the bull

o Pasiphae gives birth to a Minotaur

∙ The Minotaur

o The Labryinth

o Flesh-eating


∙ Minotaur

o Angrogeos

 Champion at Athens

o Anger of Minos

 7 maidens, 7 boys

 Every 1, 7, 9 years?

o Theseus  

 Volunteer

o Ariadne (Minos’ Daughter)

 The String

∙ Pull string through the maze

o Killing the Minotaur

o The return trip

 Marries Ariadne

 Escape with Ariadne and Phaedra (Ariadne’s sister)

 Abandons Ariadne on Naxos or Dionysus seduces her  Theseus’ dad kills himself

∙ Theseus and Pirithous

o Calydonian Boar Hunt

 A bunch of heroes try to kill a destructive boar

o Pirithous and Hippodamia

 The Battle between Lapiths and the Centuars

 A wedding between Pirithous and Hippodamia  

 Centaurs start a fight

o Helen and Persephone

 Wants to marry Helen  

 Pirithous wants to marry Persephone

 Kidnap both women

 Hades tricks them and makes them forget

o The cursed chair

 This chair makes them forget

∙ Theseus, Phaedra and Hippolytus

∙ Death

o Loss of popularity in Athens

o Lycomedes and the cliff

 Lycomedes throws Theseus off a cliff

Jason, Medea, and the Argonauts

∙ One of the older heroic stories

∙ Elements

o Heroes

o Quest

o Strange lands

o Edge of world

o Magic

o Monsters

o Trials

o Princess

∙ The Golden Fleece

o Athamas

 King of Boeotia

o Nephele

 Married Athamas

 Cloud nymphs

 Birthed Phyixus and Helle

 Returned to the sky

o Ino

 Athamas falls in love with her

 Daughter of Cadmus

 Attempts to kill Athamas’ children

o Nephele intervenes

 Ram with golden fleece

 Puts the children on the fleece

 Helle into Hellespont (died)

 Phyixus in Colchis

 Sacrifice of ram

 Take the fleece and is given to Aeetes

 Protection of Aeetes (child of the sun)

 Puts the fleece on a tree guarded by a dragon that never sleeps ∙ Jason

o Cretheus (king)

 Aeson

∙ Father of Jason

∙ Supposed to get the throne

 Pelias

∙ Usurps throne

o Jason educated by Chiron

o Return of Jason

 Old woman at river Anaurus

∙ Carries her across

 The one-sandaled man

∙ Loses his sandal in the river

∙ Pelias is told to beware the one-sandaled man

 Hera

∙ Actually the old woman

∙ Testing his virtue

 The quest

∙ Jason is sent to retrieve the Golden Fleece by Pelias

o The Argonauts

 Jason leads an expedition for the fleece

 Needs a ship

 Argus

∙ Shipbuilder

∙ The Argo

∙ Help of Athena

o Oak of Dodona

o Ship would talk and tell the future

 Orpheus and Heracles

∙ Later additions?

 Parents of heroes

∙ Peleus (father of Achilles)

∙ Telamon (father of Ajax the greater)

∙ Oileus (father of Ajax the lesser)

 Super powers?

∙ Idmon and Mopsus (seers)

∙ Polydeuces (boxer)

∙ Castor (horseman)

∙ Lynceus (could see underground)

∙ Periclymenus (shapeshifter in battle)

∙ Euphemus (could run over waves)

∙ Zetes and Calais (winged sons of Boreas)

o Adventures

 Hypsipyle and Lemnian Women

∙ Aphrodite punished the women

∙ Murderers of men

∙ Argonauts remain for a year

 Cyzicus

∙ King of an island

∙ Heroes kill giants for the king

∙ Kill king in an accident

 Cios

∙ Loss of Hylas to the nymphs

 Phineus and the Harpies

∙ Phineus was a seer but too open with it

∙ Punished by given a feast that would be ruined by Harpies

every single day

∙ The heroes save Phineus and Phineus helps them

 The Symplegades

∙ Clashing rocks

∙ Phineas’ advice

o Let a sparrow go through

o Go after the sparrow

 Resuing Phrixus’ sons

∙ The sons give them advice


∙ At Colchis

o Medea

 Priestess of Hecate

 Niece of Circe

 Hera Aphrodite

o Aeetes

o The Labors

 Fire breathing bulls

 Sowing dragon’s teeth

 Drugging serpent

o The escape

 Medea

 Apsyrtus

∙ Brother of Medea

∙ The Return

o Many lands, adventures

o Circe

o Scylla and Charybdis

o Phaeacians

 Marriage

o Libya

o Talus

∙ Resolution

o Murder Pelias

o Refugees in Corinth

 Creon

 Marriage to Glauce (Creusa)

 Revenge of Medea

The Medea

∙ First performed in 431

o Euripedes

o Peloponnesian War

∙ Medea as Hero

o Revenge

∙ Jason as Sophist

∙ “Let no one think of me as weak and submissive, a cipher – but as a woman  of a very different kind, dangerous to my enemies and good to my friends.  Such people’s lives win the greatest renown.”

∙ “Do I want to make myself ridiculous by letting my enemies go unpunished? I  must face the deed. Shame on my cowardice in even letting my mind dally  with these weak thoughts.”

∙ To Jason

o “I have done what I had to – I have stung your heart.”

∙ Jason

o “I consider that it was Aphrodite alone of gods and men who made safe my voyaging.”

∙ “You helped me and I’m pleased with the result. However, by saving me you  took more than you gave, as I shall tell you. First of all, you live in the land of  Greece instead of a barbarian country, you understand the workings of justice and know what it is to live by rule of law and not at the whim of the mighty.”

∙ “It was not… that I hated sleeping with you or that I was overwhelmed with  desire for my new bride… My object was… that we should live well and not be in want… and by producing brothers to my children by you, I should place  them all on a level footing, unite them into one family and be prosperous.”

Greek Mythology in the Roman World

∙ Geography/History

o Greece

 Islands

 Mainland

∙ Mountains

∙ Isolation

o Italy

 Peninsula

 Mountains and Plains

∙ Culture

o Greek colonies

o Southern Italy and Sicily

 Magna Graecia

o Etruscans

∙ Etruscans Gods

o Tin

o Uni

o Menvra

∙ Syncretism

o Become Jupiter, Juno, Minerva

o Associated with Zeus, Hera, and Athena

∙ Roman Expansion

o Founded c. 753 BC

o Italy Unified (272 BC)

o Western Mediterranean Conquered (202 BC)

o Wars in East

 Greece conquered (146 BC)

 Egypt conquered (30 BC)

o Mare nostrum (30 BC – AD 476)

∙ Greek Mythology in Rome

o Hercules - Heracles

 Commodus as Heracles

o Mercury - Hermes

o Juno – Hera  

o Vesta – Hestia

o Minerva – Athena

o Ceres – Demeter

o Diana – Artemis

o Venus – Aphrodite

o Mars – Ares

o Mercury – Hermes

o Jove/Jupiter – Zeus

o Neptune – Poseidon

o Vulcan – Hephaestus

o Apollo – Apollo

∙ Roman Literature

o Family Records

o Fescennine Verses

∙ Contact with Greeks

o Slavery

 Livius Andronious

 Adaptation of Odyssey

∙ Ovid

o Fasti

 Calendar

o Metamorphoses

 Epic

∙ Vergil

o Aeneid

 Epic

Roman Mythology and Saga

∙ Roman Religion

o Prominence of

 Mars

 Venus

∙ Cupid (Eros)

 Hera

∙ Legends of Rome

o Historical Mythology

o Aeneas

 Dido

∙ Carthage

 Aeneas in Ital

 Iulus (Ascanius)

∙ Founder of Julian gems

∙ Founder of Alba Longa

∙ The Aeneid

o National Epic

 Rome as axial point

 “You remember to guide the peoples with power, Roman, these  will be your arts, to impose the way of peace, to spare the  

conquered and to battle down the proud.” (Book 6, lines 852-


Roman Mythology and Saga

∙ The Aeneid

o Homer, Apollonius of Rhodes, Plato o Anger, aid of Gods

 Juno

∙ Hatred of Troy

o Judgement of Paris

o Ganymede

∙ Destruction of Carthage

o Aeneas

 Reluctant hero

o Part 1

 Odyssey

 Fall of Troy

 Wandering

 Dido

 Katabasis

o Part 2

 Iliad

 Wars in Italy

 Lavinia

 Diomedes

 Battle with Turnus

∙ Moral dilemma

∙ Romulus and Remus

o Amulius usurps throne from Numitor  Rhea Silvia

∙ Affair with Mars

 Romulus and Remus

 The She-Wolf

o Overthrow of AMulius

o Founding of Rome

 Conflict between brothers

o Romulus and the Sabines

o Assumption of Romulus

∙ Seven Kings of Rome

o Romulus

o Numa Pompillus

o Tullus Hostilius

o Ancus Marcius

o Tarquinius Priscus

 Etruscan

o Servius Tullius

o Tarquinius Superbus

∙ Horatii and Buriatii

∙ Patria Potestas

∙ The Rape of Lucretia

o Wife of Collatinus

o Sextus Tarquinius

o The chaste wife

o The republic

Reception of Classical Mythology

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