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CLA 322 notes 1/28/16

by: Kenya

CLA 322 notes 1/28/16 CLA 322 P


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Notes for 1/28/16
greek Mythology: Monsters
Han Tran
Class Notes
Echidna, Classics, Monsters, myth, CLA 322
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This 14 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kenya on Friday January 29, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CLA 322 P at University of Miami taught by Han Tran in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 46 views. For similar materials see greek Mythology: Monsters in Classical Studies at University of Miami.


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Date Created: 01/29/16
January 28, 2016 CLA 322 Monsters Herodotus’’ Echidna (cont’d) Think: Does she deserve to be called Echidna (with E) or an echidna (e-meaning viper)? o Still open for debate, no wrong answers o Perhaps Hesiod’s and Herodotus’ Echidna as similar enough to be considered capitalized Echidnas instead of just vipers. Similar to Hesiod’s:  Form o Anguipede (snake footed) lower half is snake and upper nymph  Location o Far and hard to get to and you don’t really have any business going to both locations  Diff: Herodotus’ is still in our realm and so there is room for access o They both live in caves  Ex. Cyclops, centaurs, goddess calypso (marginal, not integrated with the gods and men, socially cut off) Think: an ontological question o Onto-being, the reason for something to exist o Why does this Echidna exist? Hesiod’s echidna:  So that she can be removed from society  No mention of a conquering hero, no civilizing force against her  Her purpose is to describe this kind of incredibly powerful, unconquerable being who lives by herself and needs no one and nothing, not even food to survive. Herodotus’’ echidna:  1 ancestress of all Scythians (she is the 1 ruler of Scythia in a way)  Goes out of her way to relate with Greek Heracles and has 3 children o Herakles is not beguiled by her, she is just a curiosity, really he just wants his horses back o Remember Herakles has defeated the worst of monsters in his father’s land, but why doesn’t he not do that with this Echidna? Why can’t he threaten her or kill her to get his horses back?  He is trapped, no mares, he has to play a long to get out of this situation  Sense that this Echidna may be deadly (though it’s never stated) Why would she pick Herakles?  He is that exceptional hero and she herself is exceptional (in a sense he is the only one worthy of being her mate and fathering children for her)  Why 3 sons? o Agathyrsus, Gelonus, Scythes o Has to show that Scythes is truly his father’s son, by instinct and not by blood alone Is this a positive story of the start of the Scythians? -told from the POV of the Greeks from Pontus (black sea) -the sense of wonder may have overcome their prejudice over time o They could then conceive of their Herakles as part of these Scythians whom they are now a part of. (Scythian Echidna: found in tombs and on graves) o #4: gold pendant, part of a necklace  Bottom: snake like creatures  She holds a bearded males head in her hand  Conjuring males  Killing males  Predator  Brings u back to Hesiod’s Echidna  On her head: calathus  Vase shaped basket, attributed to Demeter, symbolizing fertility and abundance  She is both a killer of men and a life giver o #2 and 3: role as predator more define  Has wings, like the predatory gorgons o #5: role as giver of life and abundance  Snakes come out of body  Waist: snakes ending in vine tendrils  Head basket ends in Palmette o Copied from the Egyptians, a fanning palm leaf representing natural life/ abundance of life/fertility of nature. When found on graves, could connote life after death.  Snakes and plants both germinate in and spring out of the ground st 1 century CE: (This figure appears in graves and on architecture (see the pediment) Her body is increasingly losing its humanity: Her face remains so, and everything elseis vegetable and animal like. She becomes more nature, than human  Resembles this motive of the tree of life Ex> Neo-Assyrian (ca. 865-860 BCE): King Ashurnasirpal appears twice o -Assyrian tree of life with Assyrian king on either side who plucks fruit from the tree of life to give to his people Ex> Neo-Assyrian (ca. 865-860 BCE), from Nimrud Palace: Eagle-headed Ashur Back to Scythian representations of her:  Started off as the ancestress of all the Scythians and more and more she becomes associated with fertility and abundance (not at all like Hesiod’s Echidna) Christian Echidna:  From the Apocrypha, non-canonical texts chronicling the life of Jesus and a positive representation of the same  Hard to find a positive element In this Echidna Becomes associated with what is essentially evil, against God’s order (embodiment of evil) Association of women with Evil, Phillip is given the task of going after this echidna from Jesus himself: Addresses Phillip’s sister first:  Change dress and look, put off appearance of a woman  What the snake has to give you is poverty, what Jesus has to give is wealth  What’s peculiar about how Echidna is presented in this passage? o It doesn’t outright say that what is female is bad, and female sexuality is bad  It’s her appearance that is bad, it’s how you look Weapons against Echidna: (8.7) the cross and what it represents (the Monad, God, spirit and son as one) 8.16-17:  Leopard can speak as a human, with a human voice o Evidence of civility naturally occurs within him and only manifests itself when he come across these people of God  The leopard and goat kid speak, and join them on the journey to defeat echidna o The snakes are isolated, the rest of nature can be reformed (as the leaped and the kid, whom he won’t chase anymore) o Echidna and her brood are the only creatures with creation that cannot be reformed. It is beyond redemption (9.) Fire connected to this dragon (breathes fire) Started from the darkness, and now rays of light penetrate the lair, and it is this light that pulverizes the eggs of the snakes There is no reason for the dragon’s attack. It is innately aggressive to the Christian Significance of fire:  Greek dragon: Python (ex) not associated with fire o Echidna not associated with fire o Typhon is however, but he is not fully a snake himself  Fire associated with dragons much later on THINK: Dragons’ fundamental nature is to protect some type of treasure o What about this treasure?  The eggs, its future generation  Or echidna herself, as all snakes derive from her This snake is destroyed by a flame of lightening  Reminds you of Zeus Apostle hears voices from stone after another earthquake: they claim to be 50 demons of a single nature (emanation of Echidna)  Phillips asks them their true nature o “the trick of Paradise” o The one who deliberately shattered human’s golden age (Eden) o End of Eden: awareness of sexuality (nakedness) o The snake: also responsible for tempting the angels with female beauty (the most harmful things its done) o We learn this battle has gone on since the time of Moses. Phillip is the successor of Moses in the fight against echidna and her many embodiments.  Example of Apollo defeating Python on the model of Zeus defeating Typhon THINK: Why do we need to learn of this line of adversaries? o You can’t really kill this evil, the dragons are a persistent evil that just won’t go away  As long as this exists (which is forever) you’re going to need God’s assistance and power Proposal of dragon: o Don’t kill us and we’ll build a temple and work this temple, but it still can’t reform its nature  After temple is built, it acknowledges its defeat and leaves to go to a place where he will never have to build a temple to their god again Entering the city of snakes: Snakes on shoulders o Guide, tells the men what to do and they do whatever the snakes tell them. As if they were being controlled The snakes bite their own tongue Innate aggressiveness to want to bite, but they are holding themselves back for that one moment o In contrast to leopard and goat: they even have a hard time controlling themselves So they finally enter: “Clinic of the soul” THINK: Why emphasis on healing, and soul healing?  Asclepius (son of Apollo and a mortal, who could bring ppl back from the dead) he died from Zeus’ bolt. But his skills were so great and so useful, that he was allowed to become a god  Why the snake? Associated with the underground, and he himself brings ppl back from death, he is calmest giving the gift of life by healing you.  Entirely positive figure Charlatans who claimed to be Asclepius’ type figures: From: Lucian of Samosata Alexander the False Prophet 26. Again and again, as I said before, he exhibited the serpent to all who requested it, not in its entirety, but exposing chiefly the tail and the rest of the body and keeping the head out of sight under his arm. But as he wished to astonish the crowd still more, he promised to produce the god talking— delivering oracles in person without a prophet. It was no difficult matter for him to fasten cranes' windpipes together and pass them through the head,which he had so fashioned as to be lifelike. Then he answered the questions through someone else, who spoke into the tube from the outside, so that the voice issued from his canvas seemed that Asclepius. These oracles were called autophones, and were not given to everybody promiscuously, but only to those who were noble, rich, and free-handed.  Citizens of this city could be alluding to these charlatans who promise physical healing, but really matters in the health of the soul


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