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Classical Mythology Notes 2

by: Kelsey Borgstadt

Classical Mythology Notes 2 CLAS 160D2

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Kelsey Borgstadt

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These notes cover week 2. They talk about some ancient history along with the creation myths.
Topics in Culture and Civilization, Classical Mythology
Class Notes
Classical Mythology
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kelsey Borgstadt on Tuesday February 2, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CLAS 160D2 at University of Arizona taught by Teske in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 57 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: 02/02/16
Early Greek History and Indo­Europeans  Migration of Indo­Europeans (an aggressive, war­like mother race that is said to come from  western Russia) spead all the way to Iberian peninsula (Spain) and into India. Most all European  culture from Spain to India are derived from Indo­Europeans, including Greeks and Romans.  ­ 1900 b.c. Greeks cascaded down from North bringing sky­gods. Greeks called  themselves Hellenes. They quickly conquered, submergerged and assimilated the  existing inhabitants. o Built huge citadels (massive defensive walls such as Cyclopean fortifications­  name comes from myth where stones were strategically placed to make a  defensive wall built by Cyclops)  o Mainland Greeks created navies and merchant fleets that fanned out into the  Mediterranean, coming in contact with Minoans or Crete.  ­ Cnossos on Crete and kind Minos’ palace o No large fortification, perhaps because of the natural protection and extensive  navy o Well­established civilization (working in bronze, bull­worship, snake­ goddess) ­ Evidence of the coalescing of Minoan and Greek Culture o Linear B tablets initially found at Cnossos in Crete and Pyles in southwest  part of Peloponnesos  o In 1952, Michael Ventus (amateur inquest and cryptologist) deciphered Linear B tablet (aided by Sir John Chadwhick) o Linear B is a Cretan syllabary representing Greek sounds (shows a cross in  culture) o Tablets contain dry, administrative records and the first list of the Greek gods  and offerings ­ Destruction of Minoan Power o 1450 b.c large volcanic eruption on the island of Thera which generated huge  tsunamis that buffeted and devastated the northern coast of Crete o invasion force (maybe Greeks) took advantage and destroyed Minoan power o after 1400 b.c. Minoans are no longer are a force a Mediterranean  Archeological Evidence for Trojan War ­ Excavations at Troy­ 9 levels of settlement identified  ­ Frank Calvert purchased land in Turkey he believed to be Troy from the myths of the  Trojan War.  o Did soundings in 2860’s and was convinced his land was the site o Contacted Schliemann ­ Heinrich Schliemann, an amateur German archeologist excavated at Troy in 1870’s ­ Subsequent excavations at Troy o Dorpfeld, Schliemanns friend continued dig o 1930’s­ Carl Blegen of University of Cincinnati o 1980’s to present­ Korfman from a German University and Brian Rose of  University of Cincinnati have continued excavations  o they have found Luvian language with was possible spoken by Trojans o large tombs and beautiful funerary found o masks, jewelry, etc…  ­ Wealth and Power o Established in excavations o Troy’s strategic position suggests that the Trojan War could have been fought  over trade routes and access to Black Sea (Myths suggest is was over Helen) Creation of the Gods ­ Homer says Oceanus mated with Tethys to produce all other gods. Suggests that  water is the first principle.  ­ Hesoid in Theogany gives the first elaborate Greek literary account of genesis o Asks muses to tell him how the earth came to be o Wants men to believe he is a divine channeler  o This is what he said…. CHAOS (not what we think of, just blackness, nothingness)  Gaia (Earth goddess)   Tatarus (Underworld god)     Erebus     Night     Eros (love/lust  goddess)     |   (produces “sons”) Ovrances (sky/heavens god)  Mountains  Prontus (Sea) ALL DESCENDANTS (come from mating with above people) ­ The psychology aspect says that the idea of the creation of the gods comes from the  idea of individuation (when a child realizes its self­awareness)  ­ Many religions say that blackness and water are the 1  principle in creation stories Where does the modern notion of chaos come from?  th ­ Empedocles (5  century philosopher) believes that all matter is composed of 4 primal  elements­ water, air, fire, and water ­ Aristotle theorized existence of quintessence (5  element) which is made up of  celestial space Results from the mating of Gaia and Uranus ­ 12 Titans  o Coeus o Phoebe (moon gostess) o Hyperion (1  sun­god) o Theia  o Crius o Mnemosyne o Iapetus o Themis o Kronus o Rhea o Oceanus o Tethys ­ The titans mate with each other. o Oceanus and Tethys produce 6000 oceanids o Coeus and Phoebe create Leto who then begets the divine twins, Apollo and  Artemus o Hyperion and Theia beget 3 sky divinities; Hellios “Sun”, Selene “Moon”,  and Eos “Dawn” o Crius and Mnemosyne don’t produce any significant children but Mnemosyne later mates with Zeus and creates the 9 muses o Iapetus and Themis produce Prometheus, Epimetheus, and Atlas o Kronos (Cronus) and Rhea create 6 children, Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hera,  Dmeter, and Hestia Key Passages ­ The castration of Uranus by Cronus. Uranus had stuffed his children back into the  womb of Gaia in order to prevent his being overthrown. Gaia provides to Cronus the  sickles (unbreakable substance) of adamant to castrate his father. Cronus emerges  from the womb while his  parents are copulating. He castrates Uranus and hurls his  genitals over his shoulder backward into the sea. Aphrodite arises from the sea foam  that Uranus’ genitals had produced. Eringes (average agents who pursue those that  spill family blood) are spawned from the bloody drops as a result from the castration. ­ Theogony’s second key passage describes how Cronus swallowed all his children  while (except Zeus who got away). Zeus was whisked off to Crete where he was  nurtured by the goat, Amalthea, and fed honey. The Curetes (semi­divine warriors)  clashed their spears upon their shields to mask the cries of the infant Zeus, ­ Titanomachy (Battle of the Titans) is the third key passage. Zeus gets advice from  Metis (who is considered “wisdom”) and administers an emetic drug to his father  (Cronus). Cronus spits back up his 5 other children. Zeus also released the 3 cyclops  and 3 hecatonchires from Gaia’s womb.  o Forces on each side of Titanomachy   Fighting from Mt. Olympus  Zeus and 5 siblings  3 cyclops and 3 hecatenochires  Themis “Justice”  Prometheus  Fighting from Mt. Othys   Cronus and rest of the Titans  Atlas ­ 4th passage­ Zeus vs. Typhon. After defeating Cronus, Zeus is met with a foe: a fire­ breathing, 100 snake­headed creature. Zeus destroys him with thunderbolts and hurls  him into Tartus, Typhoons (giant waves) arise from his body.  Further threats to Zeus ­ Race of Giants that are a result of his father’s castration. Athena (warrior goddess)  leads gods to victory ­ Otus and Epiaties (2 mischievous giants) attempted to scale up to the weights of  heaven by stacking mountains to overthrow Zeus. They were either shot down by  Apollo’s arrows OR survive further for misadventures. (2 versions of story) How does Hesiod’s succession myth support notion of primogentiture (first born son inherits the  throne)? ­ Both Cronus and Zeus are described to be the youngest so how do they inherit the  throne?  ­ Cronus is stuffed back into the womb of Gaia but he is the one that comes out to  castrate Uranus. So he is the first reborn.  ­ Zeus is never swallowed by Cronus while all his other siblings are.  * note that “hieros gamos” is the sacred marriage especially between a sky­god and an earth  fertility goddess (ex­ Uranus and Gaia, Cronus and Rhea, Zeus and Hera) 


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