CLA 322 Feb 11, 2016
CLA 322 Feb 11, 2016 CLA 322 P
Popular in greek Mythology: Monsters
Popular in Classical Studies
CLA 322 P
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This 12 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kenya on Monday February 15, 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 31 views. For similar materials see greek Mythology: Monsters in Classical Studies at University of Miami.
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Date Created: 02/15/16
February 11, 2016 CLA 322 Monsters Chimera continued: Think: Is the Chimera an example of a failed experiment (in the sense of the many heads, each head different)? How to Answer: Look at her most famous sources when she is defeated: Chimera vs. Bellerophon (and Pegasus) In this depiction the real adversary seems to be Pegasus, while in the other depiction, Pegasus is more like a steed. Bellerophon in shown as the supporting character in this depiction Who is Pegasus? The winged horse, sprung from the decapitated trunk of medusa o Birth corresponds with the defeat of medusa o The moment that he was born, he instinctively flew up to mount Olympus, home of the gods (home of the enemies of monsters) o Brings Zeus’ civilizing weapons (his thunderbolts) Symbolizes the defeat of Medusa and the triumph of the Olympians over her He Illustrates the idea that the monstrous can be overcome Who is Bellerophon? Completed 3 labors o The Amazons o Chimaera o The Solymi Look back to Heracles: 12 canonical labors Also, Theseus and his canonical 6 labors Theseus completes half the number of Herakles’ labors because he was thought to be half the hero that Herakles was. Contrast with Bellerophon: He is half the hero than Theseus, and twice as week as Herakles All heroes fight the amazons, but things went different with Bellerophon: Herakles vs. Amazons Takes the queens war belt, symbolic defeat (militarily and sexually). He only needed to conquer one amazon, their leader. Theseus vs. Amazons Interacted only with the queen. Falls in love with her (mutually) and absconds with her, and they have a son (Hippolytus). Not necessarily a conquest, what was odd about the amazons entered his family (his son abhorring women) Bellerophon vs. Amazon Killed the whole group of Amazons (not sure if his slaughter was final, but he killed enough) Earliest sources: o They simply state that he slew the amazons THINK: What’s the difference between killing the queen and the entire race? Let’s look at the Solymi: Herodotus 1.173 “What is now possessed by the Lycians was in the past Milyan, and the Milyans were then called Solymi.... they have [a custom] which is their own and shared by no other men: they take their names not from their fathers but from their mothers,  and when one is asked by his neighbor who heis, he will say that he is the son of such a mother, and rehearse the mothers of his mother. Indeed, if a female citizen marries a slave, her children are considered pure-blooded; but if a male citizen, even the most prominent of them, takes an alien wife or concubine, the children are dishonored.” Strange case of maternal-line preference Why should he go after this tribe? o Their custom makes them almost as unacceptable as the amazons. They privilege women’s rights over men’s (similar to the amazons) Theme: His task is to eradicate the model of the over powerful female who wants to overpower men His other heroic activities: A “Potiphar’s wife” type of story “Blameless” epithet Lycia is where the Chimera lives A happy ending? Let’s talk about the first half: Similar to the story of Phaedra and Hippolytus o Ends differently: Hippolytus is vanquished by the Bull from the sea Bellerophon vanquishes the Chimaira (Chimera) He is blameless and fights negative examples of women who all Greeks would agree are strange customs Now: The role of the Chimera Think of what the bull represents to Hippolytus o Bull represents the made lust of Phaedra Chimaera represents lust of Antea for Bellerophon Both are just as monstrous Back to Hesiod’s Catalogue of monster: Either echidna or Chimera mated with Orthus and made: Female sphinx (left) Male Nemean lion (right) Sphinx (remember who her brother is) Bane to the Cadmeans (Thebans) Little said in Oedipus Rex (most important Theban texts) (not even her riddle is said). All we have is: “Theban priest to Oedipus (now king):  “when you came to the city of the Cadmeans, you freed us from the tax that we rendered to the hard songstress.” Called a songstress: Poets sing, and they sing about the way things are (agent of the Muses) Her song was probably her riddle The riddle/song of the Sphinx “A thing there is whose voice is one; Whose feet are four and two and three. So mutable a thing is none That moves in earth or sky or sea. When on most feet this thing doth go, Its strength is weakest and its pace most slow.” Lesson: man is the most mutable thing that exists Prophetic of Oedipus’ fate? o A terrible Plaque on Thebes, everything becomes barren o No one save Tiresias knows why (other than audience) Oedipus is the source of the pollution The supposed savior causes an even greater plague than the Sphinx Didn’t understand the implications of his answer. He isthe prime example of man as a mutable thing Let’s complicate things: What is she? o She is positive in that she’s ultimately trying to protect the Thebans from Oedipus Sphinx carrying off a Theban youth Compare to Odysseus under the ram o Picture of a victorious trickster The sphinx, however is a sexualized predator How does this change her perception? On the surface this looks like a contradiction, she seems both protector and predator How does this relate to Jocasta’s relationship with her son? No, definite answer (for now) but think about it for essays To her brother! The Nemean lion He is a bane specifically to men by agency of Hera (similar to Typhon) Hera takes role of Gaia in her creation and rearing of monsters Only a special hero could conquer it The Lion had impregnable skin by any sharp weapons Heracles doesn’t need such weapons. He chokes him by brute force Herakles’ primitiveness Herakles’ first labour, where he acquires his characteristic lion skin armor Herakles is defined by this labour. It shows how he is different from other heroes. His brute strength His primitiveness also seems to be his flaw He acts before he thinks, and his primitive urges tend to get the best of him o He was invited to dinner and killed his hosts son out of anger, breaking Xenia o He was punished to serve a woman, Omphale (wearing their clothes, and performing their tasks) Lion skin points to Herakles’ primitiveness. Serves as asign Same way the sphinx says something about Oedipus Who then would be the best mother for the Sphinx and lion? We don’t really know, but it could be argued for both The Babylonian Lamashtu: Forerunner of Greek Lamia Kills babies and newborns (like fetus) Female demon Depicted suckling wild beast (nurtures them for compensation) Either a young woman who died before childbirth, or some similar story where childbirth was not positive for her
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