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CLA 322 2/16/16

by: Kenya

CLA 322 2/16/16 CLA 322 P


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Notes for CLA 322 2/16/16
greek Mythology: Monsters
Han Tran
Class Notes
CLA 322, Monsters, Lamia, Lamshtu
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This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kenya on Wednesday February 17, 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 48 views. For similar materials see greek Mythology: Monsters in Classical Studies at University of Miami.


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Date Created: 02/17/16
February 16, 2016 CLA 322 Monsters Lamia: based on The Babylonian Lamashtu Continued: Schol. : Abbreviation for Scholia; commentaries to ancient text. Not really reliable because they are not complementary with the work they are looking at, and can appear much earlier than their text BOTH the Lamia and Lamashtu are female monsters (demons) who steal babies, especially babies still in the womb. Laestrygonians: seemingly humans, but are in fact cannibals (in the Odyssey) IN THIS SOURCE… Lamia one of the lovers of Zeus (as stated in this source):  Their affair angers Hera (of course) who kills the children Lamia bores, thereafter. Out of Envy, Lamia secretly stole and killed children of other.  Lamia (by will of Hera) was sleepless, so that she was eternally (day and night) in grief  Zeus grants her the gift of removing her eyes, and transforming into whatever she wanted How this figure is explained in this story?  This is the story of the original lamia  Discussion of an archetype of a female who either lost all of her children, or never had any. The woman deprived of motherhood Why is removable eyes important?  So she doesn’t have to see the children die  She stops crying, so she can give a rest to her grief Why transforming ability?  Think of story of the Athenian sisters Procne (married to Thracian Tereus) and Philomena o BACKGROUND: Ok so Athenian princess Procne lives with her Thracian husband Tereus. Apparently she was really, really, close with her sister (in Athens) and missed her deeply. Tereus is like, don’t worry about it I’ll go to Athens get your sister and bring her here to be with you. (We are supposed to believe that Tereus has never met the sister at this point). He goes to Athens takes one look at Philomena (the sister) and its love at first sight. Of course since Tereus is from Thrace, he is considered barbarous and transform this “love” into uncontrollable lust. He takesProcne, saying they’re going to her sister, but on the way he stops in the woods and Rapes her. She keeps talking about the injustice of it all (as she doesn’t appreciate him raping her and sullying her name, and blah blah), she won’t shut up about it so he (remember he’s a barbarian) cuts out her tongue. He abandons her there in the cabin…in the woods and comes home telling his wife that Philomena couldn’t come. Unable to speak, she weaves her tale into a tapestry (using her women’s work to get help) somehow Procne gets a hold of it reads it and learns the dreadful truth. Somehow the sisters meet, and plot their revenge. They two (mostly Procne) take Tereus and Procne’s son, Itys (innocent in all this), kill him, dismember him, cook him, and feeds him to his father. They, of course, wait till he’s eaten some of the horrible stew before they tell him the truth. All three turn to birds, Tereus, a bird of prey (chasing them women forever more) and Procne into the mournful nightingale.  Idea that what happens to this family is so horrible that they cannot continue as humans  The sisters turn into birds, Procne as the nightingale (a mourning gale) so that she can now mourn for her son  Perhaps this gift, is to help her escape so that she can escape her grief in her new form Seems very similar to the Lamashtu BUT: Other sources complicate things st Statius, Thebaid 1.562-669 (1 c. CE)  Daughter of Cropotus o Grace and piety, virgin (completely blameless, and the model of a good Greek girl) o She is not exposing her son to kill him, she just can’t keep him o She dies, and a monster is conceived in the depths of the Acheron (river in the underworld) Elements of this story: Male Apollo kills Female Python Has to purify himself for the murder (showing he has done something morally wrong, even for a god) Part of his purification ritual is to come to this home.  The young girl is devastated by this child’s death, and she doesn’t care anymore about the anger of her father. She dies.  Apollo creates a monster to avenge the death of the mother and the baby o Not sure if this monster is some demon form of this girl The Monster: Face and breast of a girl.  Snake parts her forehead (forever hissing) “Scaly gait”  Suggesting she slithers like a snake, lower body of snake (like Echidna?) She eats the children, and grows fast on the grief of the land  She finds fulfillment in the devastation of the people (to make up for her own grief, or the grief the represents?) “Hooked hand”:  Talons, a bird of prey (similar to Harpies) Coroebus (the hero here, if you will): Strong body and spirit  Profound hatred of this monster here  The scavengers don’t even want to eat her body (while the men can’t seem to do enough to her body) Apollo continues the mayhem of this Monster (in a way)  They have to kill the youth’s responsible for killing the monster The Hero confronts Apollo:  Not the first time a monster (favored by the gods) was sent to ravish the lands of mortals (Calydonian Boar) Apollo ends up letting Coroebus go:  Compare to the Lamia before o There is no direct connection between the monster and the girl IMP: In this text this monster is presented as the idea of Apollo and therefore his agent, and after the creature dies he intensifies the attacks on the people Apollo is the divine agency here, he is responsible.  There is no free agency, for this female demon. She issubservient to the agency of Apollo IDEA: The anger/grief for the dead child will never go away ENDING:  Hero is let go, but they have to continually placate Apollo through worship and ritual. They have to continually soothe his anger resulting for the dead (the monster, the mother, the baby) (The Anguipede Lamia, with snake rising out of her head) Apollo: identified seated on tripod (like his priestess, the Pythia) with Lyre Snake out of forehead:  Other Greek creatures with things coming out of forehead o Acheloos (Deianeira and Herakles) o Zeus (birth of Athena-Parthenogenesis)  Shows that Zeus can be considered the sole parent of Athena  She (like the Zeus model) gives birth to her very own creature through her forehead; a snake. This snake, however is permanently affixed to her forehead  Her offspring, belongs to her permanently, and cannot be taken away from her  EXTRA: think of the forehead snake as a control center, like the prow of ship. It serves as a guide (like the snake lovers in the story of St. Phillip  She is a maiden in between two snakes (body wise). She maintains her maiden identity, but is guided (lower body, and mind) by snakes Why is her lower body a snake?  She’s from the underworld. Snakes live below the earth, where the underworld is literally located How is this Lamia different from the Echidna Archetype?  They are all examples of female Eros (which cannot be conquered)  For Echidna, men are her only victim Because of her snake element she became conflated (around the 1 cent) with the Echidna type  This creature is a predator of predator, but delighted most in making Men its prey  The terrain about this gulf is quicksand, this place is one from which one can return alive (similar to the underworld, where echidna lives)  (Description of creature, #12)


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