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CLA 322 Feb 9, 2016

by: Kenya

CLA 322 Feb 9, 2016 CLA 322 P


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notes for Feb 9, 2016
greek Mythology: Monsters
Han Tran
Class Notes
Dragon, Monsters, Classics, CLA 322
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This 7 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kenya on Tuesday February 9, 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 29 views. For similar materials see greek Mythology: Monsters in Classical Studies at University of Miami.


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Date Created: 02/09/16
February 9, 2016 CLA 322 Monsters Orphic writings Cont’d: nd Athenagoras Legatio 18 (2 c. CE) “According to Orpheus water was the origin of everything. From water was produced mud, and from both of these was engendered an animal, a dragon [drakōn] with the head of a lion attached to it, and between them was the face ofa god, Heracles and Chronos by name. This Heracles produced an overweening egg. This was filled with the power of its sire, and the pressure broke it in two. Its pointed upper part came to be heaven and its lower part the earth. There came forth a two-bodied [i.e., hermaphrodite?] god.”  Most of these orphic sources involve water as a creative force/substance “From water was produced mud, and from both ofthese was engendered an animal, a dragon [drakōn]”  Description of Drakon o Body of snake o Head of lion  Between the two, the head of a god called Heracles/ Chronos Heaven (Chronos here meaning time, not Kronos father of Zeus  Herakles produces and egg possessing his power  Its pointed upper part came to be heaven and its lower part the earth. Upper heaven, lower part becomes earth Earth THINK: Why do we start off with a Drakon?  Biologically, this snake would be the most likely found in this sort of boggy environment Why the face of a lion?  Strong predator  Fierce, powerful, ferocious  Vitality Humanoid face (in between the two) called Heracles then Chronos  Looking forward into the future evolution of this being o It’s going to become more and more human as time goes on  Why is it going to be the god Heracles? o Is Heracles a god?  He started off mortal, with Zeus as his father. He later became a god but he had to die first.  Focus on his immortality:  Marries Hebe, daughter of Zeus and Hera. Her name literally means youth o Alluding to him becoming a true immortal, not bound by age and the passing of time Focuses on Herakles because he was a mortal that became divine. Orphics believes that mortals could become divine. Why Chronos (as in time)?  Half alludes to father of Zeus (early god in creation)  Why time? o Time passing is necessary o Without time, evolution is not possible. One can’t go from A-Z “Double-face dragon”  Symbolizes where you start from, the snake and where you will end towards mortality, and from there immortality. How is this creation myth different that from Hesiod’s creation myth and his Typhon?  Unlike Typhon, it is not an external enemy of creation that needs to be defeated. It is the beginning of this creation/evolution process.  Snake body: o Has no face of the snake o Ex. Difference between minotaur and centaurs  Minotaur has head of a bull and is therefore entirely animal, centaurs have human uppers, and may have animal like behavior etc. o Provides evidence of the end point, humanism  Why are the gods Athanatoi, or deathless? o There is a good reason they live forever o Contrast them with us and animals (those who die)  Greeks believe that for a very long time (around Homer), in the afterlife you become a stuck, meaningless shade, in a place where nothing ever happens and there is nothing to look forward to.  Death is the opposite of everything you know: it is the lack of all that  The gods are a projection for what we don’t have Homer/Hesiod: generally pessimistic view of Human fate  Orphics present an optimistic view of human fate, evolution from dragon and reptile, to mortal, to god (in the afterlife) The “Egg”  “Overweening”: huge and not content to stay where it is, reaching out for more  Has power of his sire o Ex. Heracles is exceptionally strong, pushes beyond the boundary of the known and the possible o Has potential to go beyond the limits of mortality  Breaks in two and creates heaven and earth  Out of the egg comes a two bodied (Hermaphrodite?) god o It can mate with itself; self-contained creation Later account of this idea: Damascius De principiis (6 c. CE) Damascius, last of the Neo-Platonist  Plato believed that we all have access to these perfect forms (that exist outside of our imperfect plane) and that we are immortal in our soul  Neo: believed in this transcendent god who existed outside of Creation, that couldn’t be spoken about (here the single principle) Has heads of bull and lion, face of god in the middle  Called again Heracles and Chronos  Chronos called unaging o Time will go on forever, there is no end to the process of evolution Additional information: Ananke (necessity) is combined with Chronos (time)  There is no path to evolution other than through time Chronos Father of Ether and Chaos (here) Looking at the details: The Triads: 1 TRIAD: CHRONOS (dragon with bull/lion/Herakles head) 2 TRIAD: (liquid-generative) Ether (boundless) Chaos Erebus (Underworld) rd 3 TRIAD: (i) Egg (made from Ether, Chaos, and Erebus) (ii.) DYAD (male - female) (iii.) Bodiless god with golden wings, bull heads from flanks, dragon head with multiple animals Dragon element more pronounced here, the head is also a dragon resembling all the shapes of animals  Reminds you of Typhon  Animal is a large part of this creature  This is where life beings (the last triad) o Life in the cosmos starts of as animal (thus the overwhelming animal element) o Typhon like creature, BUT not a creature to be done away with, not an external foe, just creation Two things that make it more than animal (hints at its potentiality)  Has golden wings o Alludes that it is divine by nature, the ultimately, positive for of the divine Typhon with his wings Why Typhon’s wings: his energy gets translated as noxious winds (as in the smoke from a volcano), here represented in wings  Bodiless o Having a body makes one defined o This creature is not yet defined, it is still full of potential. The animal is pronounced within it, but it is not confined by it  Called Protogonos o First born  Role of Zeus o Is the organizer of everything, and is therefore called Pan (all), he is not the enemy of this figure but its administer to make sure everything is where it out to be Extra info: Zeus took on the form of a snake to seduce his own daughter, Persephone Why this form? o Snakes live underground just like Persephone herselfwho will become the queen of the underworld. They have a child called ], Zagreus Baby is fully divine, his birth angers Hera (of course) and she commissions the titans to go look for this baby and kill it  In this version of the world you can kill a god They try to lure him to his death (with like toys and a mirror, etc.), finally able to ambush him, and kill him, dismember the baby, and boils him. Zeus come in the room and burns the titan’s t ashes with his bolts. So the body of the baby and the ashes mix, Persephone saves his heart. In other words, the evil titans are mixed in with the good Zagreus  This is the origin of the human race. Part evil and part divine o The heart saved: it was placed into the womb of a mortal called Semele (mother of Dionysus)-the only creature in this world that can have a mortal parent and a divine parent and become fully divine o The snake element here is not all bad, but it is flexiblebased on its context The Chimaera revisited She is the probably the offspring of the Hydra, because she is the furthering of the experiment of having multiple heads-here a different animal for each head Characteristics:  She breathes fire (like Typhon)  Snake element (like Echidna and Typhon)  Lion (similar to Typhon-roaring) How does the goat head make sense?  The goat is fundamentally domestic, and they tend not to be ferocious o Her weak link, she is only 2/3’s frightening  To keep producing multiple different heads, you could end up with something failed, or useless, like the goat


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