Notes on Artemis
Notes on Artemis CLAS 160D2
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kelsey Borgstadt on Friday April 8, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CLAS 160D2 at University of Arizona taught by Teske in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 19 views. For similar materials see Topics in Culture and Civilization, Classical Mythology in Classical Studies at University of Arizona.
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Date Created: 04/08/16
Artemis’ fertility connections - Assisted in childbirth - Worshipped as a multi-breasted mother goddess in Asia Minor (Polymastos “many breasted”) - Linked to the moon, hence a woman’s menstrual cycle - Responsible for overseeing the procreation of wild animals as Potnia Theron “Mistress of Wild Animals” Virginal Huntress - Hunting boots or sandals and wearing a tunic and carrying a hunting bow/arrows and a quiver or wielding a hunting spear - Seen as a chaste goddess, obviously pure Artemis myths involving a threat to her chastity - Orion is a mighty hunter who is clearing an island of wild animals as a favor to the king. But Artemis blocks his path and he angers her even more by trying to rape her. So she creates a giant scorpion from the ground that stings him to deat6h. He is turned into the constellation Orion while the scorpion is transformed into the star cluster Scorpio (zodiac sign) - Otus and Ephialtes, the mischievous giants decided to rape Artemis- they spotted her along the shore and she ran over the tops of the waves to an island. They followed, being able to run dry-shod over the ocean- a power conferred on them by their sea-god father. Artemis turned herself into a fawn and appeared in a central meadow. The brothers circled around the island and converged on opposite sides of the clearing. They both saw the deer and hurled their spears at it simultaneously. Artemis leaps out of the way and they are both killed. - Actaeon was a skilled hunter who got separated from his companions and stumbled into the bathing place of Artemis. He looked upon her nakedness so she sprinkled hum with water and he was transformed into a stage (still with a human mind) and fled into the wilds. But he is soon seen by his own hunting dogs (who don’t recognize him) and he is torn apart and devoured by them. His “crime” was boasting that he was greater at the hunt than Artemis. Artemis involving a threat to her follower’s chastity - Callisto - Arethusa- a wood nymph who is out6 swimming naked in the river Alpheus, and the river-god decides to begin fondling her. She leaps from the river but is pursued into the forest by Alpheus. Arethusa prays for deliverance and is surrounded by a cloud with Alpheus stalks around calling her name. She glances down and sees that she is being transformed into a river which plunges under the earth and travels beneath the bottom of the sea, surfacing in Syracuse, Sicily as the fountain Arethusa. Not to be denied, Alpheus returns to his watery nature and commingles his waters with hers. Other aspects - Niobe myth shows Artemis defending her mother Leto’s honor - Niobe s the queen of Thebes and she asks her subject to worship her instead of Leto (Artemis and Apollo’s mother). She says she is more blessed than Leto because she has 7 sons and 7 daughters while Leto only had 1 son and 1 daughter. Leto sends down Artemis and Apollo and they shoot down Niobe’s 7 sons- Niobe’s husband (the king) kills himself because he has no heir. But Niobe persists in her hubris and says she still has 7 daughters. So Artemis and Apollo together mow down Niobe’s daughters. When one remains, Niobe pleads to have that youngest girl’s life preserved. An arrow whizzes through the air and kills the chi\ld. Niobe is inconsolable in her grief, so she is turned to stone and picked up by a whirlwind and placed on a mountain-top. Bloodthirsty aspect of Artemis - Agamemnon, leader of the Greek forces sailing to Troy, ends up killing an animal sacred to Artemis. So she gets angry and sends adverse winds against the Greek fleet to prevent their departure on the Trojan military campaign. Then Artemis demands a human sacrifice to placate her rage. Agamemnon sends his eldest daughter, Iphigenia, and she is dragged to the altar and sacrificed. - But Euripides softened the tradition in the late 5 century BC- he said that Artemis ha pity on Iphigenia, and substituted a sacred deer for her and slit its throat and whisked the maiden off to the southern shores of the Black Sea where she became a priestess of Artemis at her temple there. Those that visited that shrine were offered in sacrifice to the savage aspect of the goddess. Orestes, however, Iphigenia’s brother, comes looking for her and though at first she does not recognize him she ends up fleeing with him. Roman tradition of worship of Diana (Roman name for Artemis) Nemorensis “of the Woods” near lake Nemi in Italy - Cult statue of Artemis was supposedly taken from Greece to southern Italy where it came to reside at a sanctuary of Diana at Aricia - The succession to the priesthood at this site was by slaying the current priest in ritual combat - Perspective priest would break off a golden bough from a tree in Diana’s sacred grove and present I to the incumbent priest and they would then fight to the death- whoever won was installed as the priest Apollo - The Destroyer - Said to be the most Greek of the Greek gods - Diverse array of major areas of patronage o Phoebus Apollo- “bright/ shinning”, god of truth, enlightenment, and prophecy o Argyrotoxos Apollo- “silver-bowed” as god of archery o Delian Apollo- born on the island of Delos o Apollo cithara, or lyre-playing – god of music o Pythian Apollo- slayer of the Python o Apollo Smintheus- “the Mouse-god”- slayer of field mice who threaten grain crops o Apollo Delphinnius- “the Dolphin-god”- god of sailors and colonization o Apollo Loxias- “the obscure one”- ambiguous prophecy o Paean Apollo- “the Healer” he can bring plague/destruction but can also take it away - Birthplace is Delos. Delos was said to be a floating/wandering island, the only place which would allow the birth of Leto’s twin. An early temple was built on Delos to honor Apollo and the island itself ceased its wandering. - Hippocrates’ notion of hysteria o 5 century physician claimed that women who had not given birth to children ran the rsk of developing hysteria, a form of frenzy o he said wombs of such women could dislodge themselves and wander around the body and then attach to other key organs and cause madness. But if a woman gave birth, her womb was fixed in place and she no longer faced the threat of hysteria. o Medical notion may have produced this muth of wandering Delos, and how it became stationary after the wandering mother - Delos assacred ground o Burials were prohibited on Delos so a necropolis, “city of dead” arose on the nearby island of Rheenia- even historical reports of mainland Greeks finding bodies buried on Delos, and digging them up and taking them elsewhere for burial o Later even women became banned from giving birth on Delos, so they were also ferried acorss to Rhenia - Iconography o Young but not effeminate, with long curly hair, no beard, often crowned with laurel leaves. Also seen with bow/arrows and quiver or lyre in hand. o Creature sacred to him the dolphin, crow, and raven. - Apollo established his principal oracle at foot of Mt. Parnassus o Slew a great serpent, the Python, which then began to rot, so the place was called Pytho and everything linked to the site was designated as Pythian o Site was also named Delphi “the dolphin place” which was explained by a story of Apollo appearing in dolphin from to some Cretan sailors who then worshipped him as Apollo Delphinius - Pythian games of Apollo o Celebrated every 4 years at Delphi o Games included both physical and intellectual/artistic competitions: foot-races, chariot races, musical, literary, and dramatic presentations were amount the events. Honoring two- fold nature- great physical prowess and skills as an artist - History if oracle at Delphi o Site originally occupied by an oracle of great mother goddess of the Minoan-Mycenaean era- she is referred to as Gaia-Themis o The slaying of the Python may represent the subsequent conquest of the oracle site by the Hellenic Apollo - Omphaloes “Navel” stone o Egg-shaped stone kept in the innermost chamber of Apollo’s temple and supposedly marked Delphi as the physical and spiritual center of the earth o Mythic explanation for how center of the world was determine: Zeus sent 2 eagles flying at the same speed from opposite sides of the earth. - Procedure of the Delphic Oracle o Oracle open on 7 day of each months o Pythia would begin the day by bathing in the sacred Castalian spring outside the temple for purification and inspiration o Then she would take a goat, sprinkle it with cold water to induce trembling in its limbs, and then sacrifice it o She would enter the innermost chamber of Apollo’s temple, seat herself on t=a bronze tripod, and then breathe in the inspirational fumes coming from a cleth in the earth and be racked by a divine madness o The questioner would approach the sanctuary, and as a kind of admission of fee, offer an expensive sacred cake at the altar outside the temple then sacrifice a sheep, or goat o The questioner would enter the temple, meet a priest of Apollo, and pose a question o The priest would relay the question to the Pythia in her separate inner room and in her altered states, show would respond with apparently incoherent ravings o The priest would stand nearby and interpret the ramblings and rely it to the questioner - Nature of the Pythia o Apollo’s prophetesses at Delphi, were originally young virgins but the story goes that one of them was seduced and carried off by a visitor o From then on only mature women could be priestesses o Some claim that Pythia’s has psychic abilities but others say women were simple but pure peasants o The prophecies were ambiguous/cryptic o Famous example of deceiving prophecy to king Croesus, king of Lydians “if you make war upon the Persians you will destroy a mighty empire” so Croesus went forward with his war and he destroyed his own great empire o Response to Haerephon, a close friend of Socrates, when asked “Who is the wisest of men?” the oracle said “Socrates”. So the philosopher spent his energies trying to prove or disprove the pronouncement - Survey of evidence for earlier oracle of mother goddess at Delphi site o Twin peaks of Parnassus could be breasts of mother goddess o Omphalos stone is her bellybutton o The place0name Delphi may be from Greek delphys “womb” o Python is the serpent as umbilicous - New Geological/Archaeological Evidence nd o Investigation at the site discovered the existence of a 2 previously undetected fault line running under Apollo’s temple and converging eith the Delphi fault, this would have been where the Pythia would have been seated and breathing in the fumes o Sediments from foundations of Apollo’s temple display the presence of 3 light hydrocarbon gases, ethane methane, and ethylene (with trance-inducing properties) - Sibyls wree Apollo’s prophetesses at other temples o Most famous Sibyls were the series of those that hailed from the temple of Apollo at Cumae o Story of a Sybil approaching an early kind of Rome and offering to sell him 9 books of Syblline prophecies. He at first rejected her offer so she went away and destroyed 2 of the books, came back and destroyed 3 more after another rejection o Last 3 books were paced in a shrine and consulted by Romans Key Apollo love affairs - Cyrene o Athletic nymph, outwrestle a lion and Apollo is impressed so he takes her back to an island and the have a baby. - Cassandra o Trojan princess, loved by Apollo and promises to give Apollo offspring. He gives her the power of prophecy. o Later she spurns hum and he asks for one last kiss and spits in her mouth, altering the gift. She still delivered true prophecies but no one believes her. o She is dragged from the temple of Athena during Sack of Troy and is given to Greek leader, Agamemnon, as a spoil of war. He takes her back as his mistress to Greece where see foresees her own death by the hands of Agamemnon’s jealous wife. - Marpessa o Daughter of king Evenus o Wooed and abducted by Idas a mortal Argonaut. The king pursues in his chariot but when he falls behind he hurls himself in the water and commits suicide o Idas rides off with the girl, thinking he was snared. But Apollo sees the maiden and tries to snatch her away. Zeus intervenes and tells Apollo that he must let her choose. She chooses Idas - Daphne o Beautiful nymph pursued by Apollo o Apollo pursues her but she flees from him through the forest o As she reaches a river she prays for escape to her father Peneus, a river-god, and he transforms her into a laurel tree. Even though she is a tree, Apollo still loves her and makes her his sacred tree. - Coronis o Loved by Apollo and they are happy for a time but she then cheats on him. He hears this from his white raven and takes it out on his messenger and turns it black. o He shoots her down with an arrow, yet as she is dying she reveals she is pregnant with his son. After throwing her corpse on the funeral pryre, he snatches the unborn child from her womb and saves him. His name is Asclepius and he becomes a great healer o Son represents healing aspect of Apollo himself, Paean Apollo “the Healer” - Hyacinthus o A Spartan youth who was loved by Apollo o One day they were out throwing the discus. Hyacinthus hurled his discus way out into the field and then rushed to see how far he had thrown. Apollo, not realizing where the youth was, threw his discus, and it was pushed by the Zephyr wind, it either struck the ground and ricocheted into Hyacinthus’ head or struck him directly, killing his lover o Apollo ran out and cradled the dying boy. As his blood flowed onto the earth, Apollo turned him into a hyacinth flower, a lesser vegetation god who dies and is reborn annually. What do these myths reveal about Apollo’s nature as a divinity? - Apollo is a youth in transition to adulthood, an ephebe, a late adolescent about 18-20 years of age - So the series of Apollo’s unsuccessful love affairs display the trials and tribulations of a youthful lover attempting to find his way in the world. Apollo’s music contests - Apollo on the lyre vs. Marsyas, a satyr on the aulos o Loser agrees to allow the victor to do whatever he wishes to the other; Marsyas is defeated and Apollo flays him - Apollo on the lyre vs Pan on the syrinx. 2 judges of contest: Tmolus, a mountain-god and king Midas o Tmolus says Apollo was better, yet Midas chooses Pan- Apollo wins the split decision since the god’s cote trumps the man’s. Apollo gives Midas donkey ears for hearing the contest wrong Apollo’s wrath at the start of Homer’s Iliad - Chryses, a priest of Apollo, comes to the Greeks to gain the release of his daughter, Chryseis, who is Agamemnon’s concubine - He is shamed by Agamemnon in front of the Greek assembly and is sent away, so he prays to Apollo that night, and Apollo comes down and showers his shafts of woe upon the Greeks for 9 days - There are piles of corpses burning on the pyres beside the ships. and the Greeks’ cause looks bleak. Then Chryses returns, his daughter is released, and Apollo is placated.
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