Greek and Roman Mythology Chapters 23 and 24
Greek and Roman Mythology Chapters 23 and 24 CLA 2444
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Megan Standiford on Wednesday April 6, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CLA 2444 at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University taught by Christine Steer in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 14 views.
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Date Created: 04/06/16
Chapters 23 and 24 Chapter 23 The Athenians boasted that they were autochthonous o That they had originated there in that place where Athens was founded and had not migrated there o They claimed that Cecrops, their first king, had sprung from the earth o He was half-man and half-snake Cecrops was the founder of Attica (the region around Athens) o It was during his reign that the contest between Athena and Poseidon took place Another early autochthonous figure is Erichthonius o One time when Hephaestus attempted to rape Athena, his semen fell on the ground and from it sprung Erichthonius o Athena raised the child, and he became king of Athens o He is associated with Poseidon Grandson of Erichthonius was Erechtheus o Who is also associated with Poseidon o It seems likely that these early figures were worshiped in Athens before Athena o On the Acropolis is the Erechtheum, a temple dedicated both to Athena andErechtheus Erechtheus was important to Athens in three ways o He was successfully defended Athens in her earliest war o He sacrificed his daughter to save Athens o Athenians prided themselves in being Autochthonous The family of Erechtheus had many adventures o Such as poor Philomela a princess of Athens who was raped by Tereus o He cut out her tongue and shut her up in a house deep in the forest o She wove the story of her misfortune into a cloth and sent the cloth to Procne o Procne killed her son and fed him to Tereus as a way of punishing him for this dreadful act o Philomela was then transformed into the nightingale The great-grandson of Erechtheus was Aegeus o Aegeus, like so many of his ancestors, was associated with Poseidon o He was king of Athens, but, being childless, was threatened by his brother, Pallas o He asked the oracle who would follow him as king, but the oracle gave Aegeus confusing advice o The king of Troezen interpreted the advice for him, explaining that Aegeus must sleep with the princess, Aethra o As a result he slept with Aethra, who bore Theseus o When Theseus was old enough, he traveled to Athens to find his father Theseus is the great national hero of Attica and Athens o He was raised in Troezen until he was old enough to shift the rock under which his father had left a sword and sandals o When Theseus uncovered these, his mother, Aethra, told him that his father was Aegeus, king of Athens, and Theseus set off to Athens, taking the land rout which was more dangerous than the sea rout so that he might win glory on his journey o In many stories Theseus is considered the son of Poseidon Theseus encountered six labors on the way to Athens o At Epidaurus he killed Periphetes, called Corynetes i. Theseus took his club and defeated him o At the isthmus of Corinth he killed Sinus, the robber i. Sinus was called Pityocamptes ii. He bent pine trees to the ground and tied his victims to the trees and let them go tearing them apart iii. Theseus killed him by this same method o Between Corinth and Megara he killed a monstrous sow o Near Megara Sciron was blocking his way along the cliff path i. Sciron made all travelers stoop an wash his feet ii. When they did this, he would kick them into the sea, where a great turtle ate them iii. Again, Theseus killed him using the very method that Sciron used to kill others o At Eleusis Theseus met Cercyon i. He made all travelers wrestle with him ii. Theseus wrestled with him and won iii. He held the Cercyon high in the air and then threw him down to his death o Finally, right before he got to Athens, Theseus encountered Procrustes i. Procrustes had a bed upon which he would make travelers lay down ii. If they were too tall, he would cut them down to the size of the bed iii. If they were too short, he would stretch them iv. Theseus killed him by his own methods of killing others And so Theseus made it to Athens o He was recognized by the queen, Medea o Medea had married king Aegeus and was now queen of Athens o She recognized Theseus as the son of the king by another woman, but she wanted her own children to rule, so she tried to convince King Aegeus to kill Theseus by giving him poison to drink But Aegeus recognized Theseus by the sword he carried o He dashed the poison away from Theseus and welcomed him as his son o This angered Pallas, brother of Aegeus o Theseus defeated all of them The next challenge Theseus faced was capturing the Bull of Marathon o This was the same bull that Heracles had brought from Crete o This bull had mated with Pasiphae, the queen of Crete, to produce the Minotaur o Poseidon had caused Pasiphae to fall in love with the bull because her husband, Minos, had refused to sacrifice this sacred bull to Poseidon, thus incurring the wrath of Poseidon o Theseus captured this bull and sacrificed it to Apollo Delphinius The Minotaur o The Minotaur was a monster in Crete, half bull, half man o There's a long story behind it and behind why the Athenians were involved o To start off, Androgeos, son of Minos, the King of Crete had been killed in Attica o He was killed out of jealousy because he won all the contests in the Panathenaic games In revenge, Minos attacked Athens o Finally Athens was forced to make a treaty with Minos o The Athenians promised to send seven youths and seven maidens to Minos annually as tribute, to be fed to the minotaur o When Theseus found out about this, he decided that he would go as one of the seven youths When he got to Crete, he met Ariadne the princess o Ariadne fell in love with Theseus o She was half-sister to the minotaur o The Minotaur lived in a labyrinth built by the famous craftsman, Daedalus o She gave Theseus a ball of string to guide him out of the labyrinth Theseus killed the Minotaur o And saved the Athenians o Ariadne left with them for Athens But Theseus abandoned Ariadne on the Island of Naxos o But the god Dionysus came and found her o There are so many conflicting stories about the fate of Adriadne o Some say she is identified with Aphrodite, others call her the "wife of Dionysus whom Zeus made immortal" o Homer says that Artemis killed Ariadne because Ariadne eloped with Theseus when she was already engaged to Dionysus Theseus returned to Athens o But was sailing in a ship with a black sail o He had previously told his father that he would use a white sail if he returned victorius, a black one if he did not o Aegeus saw the black sail from the cliff top and threw himself into the sea, this killing himself o That is why the Aegean Sea is called after Aegeus Theseus became king of Athens o And national hero o He is credited with doing a great many things as king o Perhaps the most important, he is credited for the synoecism of Attica Theseus and the Amazons o Theseus fought with Heracles against the amazons o His war-prize was Antiope, who became the mother of Hippolytus Theseus was friends with Pirithous o They fought against the centaurs together o They promised to help each other find a wife o Theseus attempted to take Helen and Pirithous attempted to take Persephone o Neither were successful Theseus married Phaedra, another daughter of Minos o Phaedra's name means "bright" o It is likely that she may have been a Cretan goddess-princess like Ariadne o Phaedra fell in love with Hippolytus, the son of Theseus by Antiope o Hippolytus himself is important, because he was supposedly resurrected by Asclepius o Hippolytus is associated with the Italian Virbius who was the first priest of the cult of Diana at Aricia Theseus as champion of the oppressed o Theseus was portrayed in a number of stories and legends as a champion of the oppressed Codrus was the last king of Athens o In early legendary times, when the Peloponnesians attacked Athens, the oracle said that whichever side lost their king in battle would win the war o So Codrus disguised himself as a peasant and provoked a quarrel with enemy soldiers, who killed him o Thus Athens was able to win Back to Minos and the Labyrinth o Minos had the Labyrinth built to house the minotaur o The minotaur was the child of Pasiphae and a bull o The bull was supposed to be a sacrifice to Poseidon, but Minos refused to sacrifice it, so Poseidon caused to fall in love with the bull Daedalus constructed the labyrinth o He was the most skillful craftsman in all of Greece o When he had completed the task, Minos imprisoned Daedalus himself so that he would not give away the secret of the labyrinth o "Labyrinth" comes from the word "labrys" which is a double-headed ax Daedalus wished to escape with his son Icarus o He made wings of feathers and wax for himself and his son o He warned Icarus not to fly too close to the sun, or the wax would melt o Icarus did not obey his father o His wings melted and he fell to his death in the sea The end of the life of Theseus o Although he had a glorious life, Theseus did not have a happy death o He was eventually driven out of Athens by Menestheus and went to the Island of Scyros o There he was killed by king Lycomedes o Theseus is remembered for many things, but most particularly for his triumph over the minotaur Chapter 24 The background of the Legend: Athamas and Nephele o Nephele was a cloud-nympth whose name means cloud o She was caught by king Athamas of Boeotia, to whom she bore two children, Phrixus and Helle, then she returned to the sky o Then Athamas married Ino o Ino wanted to kill her stepchildren Ino tricked Athamas into trying to sacrifice his son o There was a famine in the land, so Ino said that the oracle insisted that Phrixus be sacrificed to lift the famine o Before he could be sacrificed, however, Nephele snatched her two children away and set them on a golden-fleeced ram, which carried them off Helle fell off o In the place which is now called the Hellespont, named after her o Phrixus coninued onwards until he came to Colchis on the far shore of the Black sea o There King Aeetes received him o Phrixus sacrificed the ram to Zeus and gave the fleece to Aeetes Meanwhile o Cretheus was king of a place called Iolcus o He died and Pelias usurped the throne, deposing the true heir: Aeson, father of Jason o Jason was sent away to be reared by the centaur Chiron o After twenty years, Jason returned to claim the throne that was rightfully his Hera favored Jason o Because Jason carried her across a river when she was disguised as an old woman o She also did not like Pelias, the usurper, because he neglected to sacrifice Pelias promised to yield the throne to Jason if Jason would bring him the golden fleece o Pelias recognized jason as the son of Aeson, because he arrived wearing one sandal as the oracle predicted o Pelias was warned by the oracle not to try to kill jason because this would bring about his own death o This is why he sent Jason on the quest for the fleece o So jason had the ship "Argo" built and gathered the bravest men in all of Greece The Argo o Was built by Argus with the help of Athena o There was a piece of oak on board which contained the oracle of Zeus The Minyae o The list of Argonauts caries, but Orpheus and Heracles figure prominently in almost every list o Yet they do not feature in the earliest version of the story The Argonauts were Greeks who lived the generation before the Trojan war o In the list of Argonauts are included the names of the parents of warriors who fought in the Trojan war o For example, Peleus father of Achilles, and Telemon father of Ajax are among the Argonauts o Castor and Polydeuces, brothers of Helen, also went along Hypsipyle and the women of Lemnos o On Lemnos, there were only women, ruled by queen Hypsipyle o All the women had killed all the men o The Argonauts stayed here for a year and many children were born from the union of the Lemnian women and the Argonauts Cyzicus, where Heracles killed the giants o In a place called Cyzicus the Argonauts met king Cyzicus who greeted them with hospitality o Here, Heracles killed the giants which plagued the land o The argonauts then left Cysicus, but were blown back again, where in a night-time skirmish they accidentally killed the king Cios o Here heracles went ashore to try to find a replacement for his broken ore o This is also the place that Hylas was lost and heracles refused to sail on, choosing to stay behind looking for his lost friend Amycus o One in the Black Sea, the Argonauts came across the Bebryces, a tribe whose king Amycus, boxed against all comers o Polydeuces the boxer took him on and won Phineus and the Harpes o Then they came to Salmydessus where Phineus lived o He was a blind prophet, tormented by Harpies o Zetes and Calais chases the Harpies off, and Pjineas foretold the rest of the journey and gave Jason advice about how to survive the clashing rocks They sailed past many, many wondrous things o Like the land of the Amazons, the land of the Stymphalian Birds they also came across Phrixus sons who were trying to reach Greece Jason reached Colchis o There, Aeetes arranged a series of trials for Jason o First Jason had to yoke a pair of brazen-footed, fire-breathing bulls together and plow a field, and sow the field with dragons teeth Medea helped o Daughter of the king and priestess of Hecate, gave Jason magic ointment to protect him from fire and injury o He plowed the field safely, but then… Armed men sprang from the dragons teeth o Jason threw a stone into the midst of the men, and they fought each other until they all died o Then Jason had to get the fleece itself The fleece was guarded by a serpent o In some versions Medea gave Jason herbs to drug the serpent o In others she slew the creature herself o Jason took the fleece and Medea and Left Colchis According to Appolomus or Rhodes o Jason and Medea visited Circe whom they had killed in their escape from Colchis o Then they encountered many of the same things as Odysseus Talus o Was a bronze giant which they encountered in Crete o He was overcome by removing a nail which closed a vein in his ankle The Return o The Argonauts reached Iolcus and the adventure ended o The story of Jason took its final form before the sixth century BC o This was an era of expansion and discovery for the Greeks o They were settling colonies all over the Mediterranean o The story of Jason may reflect these adventures But Pelias refuses to honor his promise and did not make Jason king o So Medea arranged his death o She had rejuvenated Aeson by magic by boiling him in a cauldron o The daughters of Pelias tried to duplicate the process for their father and killed him Jason still was not made king of Iolcus o He and Medea were driven away for the crime of killing Pelias o They went to Corinth Jason then divorced Medea to marry Glauce o Not a good move o Medea sent a robe to Glauce which burnt her flesh o Then she killed the children she had borne to jason and flew away in a chariot drawn by winged dragons o She went to Athens where she married king Aegeus, father of theseus There are many versions of the story of Jason and Medea o It was even known to Homer in the 8th Century BC o Perhaps the most powerful surviving source is the play Medea by Euripides o Euripides depicts Medea as a woman who has sacrificed greatly for her husband and has been scorned by him One of the reasons the story survived is its emotional power o And its multifaceted humanity o One can understand Medeas rage, and one can understand Jasons decisions as well o As, of course, the adventure is a great tale of heroics and magic
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