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Notes 2/22-2/26

by: Kelsey Borgstadt

Notes 2/22-2/26 CLAS 160D2

Kelsey Borgstadt

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About this Document

These notes cover Hera and Zeus, along with Poseidon and other water divinities.
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 Friday February 26, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CLAS 160D2 at University of Arizona taught by Teske in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 24 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: 02/26/16
Hera and Zeus Hera (Juno), queen of the gods, Zeus’ wife - Stern upholder of morality and the sanctity of marriage- difficult when married to a playboy like Zeus - Mostly seen in reaction to Zeus’ marital infidelities: angry and trying to get revenge on these playmates or their offspring - Prayed to at weddings and could be called upon to help women in childbirth - Principal divinity honored at Argos and in general regarded as an earth- mother goddess. - Homer describes her as “ox-eyed” and “white-armed” - Peacock was her sacred bird - Besides her wrath at Zeus’ flings, she is defined by her enduring hatred of the Trojans Judgment of Paris - All the gods and goddesses were invited to the wedding feast of Peleus and Thetis except Eris “Strife”, the goddess of Discord, was exceled. So Eris crafted a golden apple inscribed “for the fairest”. All three goddesses think they deserve the apple. - Zeus not wanting to judge the beauty of the 3 has Hermes lead them to Mt. Ida near Troy where a young shepherd, the Trojan Paris, will choose who is most stunning - The beauty contest becomes akin to a bribery contest: Hera promises Paris rule over Europe and Asia; Athena says that she will make Paris the most Formidable warrior on earth; and Aphrodite offers him the most beautiful woman in the world, queen Helen of Sparta - Paris chooses Aphrodite and awards her the golden apple - Because Aphrodite was picked as the most beautiful, she will always favor the Trojans but Hera and Athena who were slighted, will despise the Trojans and do all they can to back the Greeks and bring about Troy’s destruction. Offspring of Zeus and Hera - Eileithyia (Lucina) goddess of childbirth o One of most popular myths is of Alcmena (slept with Zeus and produces Heracles). Hera sends Eileithyia to stop the birth. Unusual because she normally helps during childbirth but here she tries to stop birth. - Hebe “youthfulness” o 1 cupbearer of the gods (pours out the wine at the games or feasts) and is later replaced by Ganymede (who is stolen up to Olympus by the god’s eagle and becomes Zeus’ boy-toy) o Later, Hebe becomes the bride of the deified Heracles. - Ares (Mars) o Emblem of war in its ugliest aspects o A divine butcher/merchant of death o When he meets Athena on the battlefield, he is regularly defeated by her (since she represents war’s higher functions/strategies) o Zeus has no sympathy for the wounded Ares when he cones to Mt. Olympus to complain to him o Ares isn’t seen as a “good” god by the Greeks. They seem to not have liked him based off of how the myths depict him. o Mars is progenitor of Roman race  Mars rapes Rhea Silvia, a Vestal virgin, and she begets the twins, Romulus and Remus  Rhea Silva abandons the twins in a basket by the Tiber River and a she-wolf cones down from the mountains and suckles and nurtures them. They are taken in and raised by shepherds.  When as young men they are beginning the city of Rome, Remus leaps over the foundations and Romulus slays him. Romulus then becomes Rome’s 1 - Hephaestus (Vulcan) o Lame and ugly god o Divine metal smith, god of creative fire (works at his forge under volcanos with the Cyclopes as his helpers) o Married to Aphrodite, though she soon cheats of him with his brother (Ares) o Ares and Aphrodite are caught in their infidelity and held on display for other gods to laugh at Characteristics of Water Divinities - Monstrous in form, or they are shape shifters - Often have powers of prophecy - 3 important Nereids (sea nymphs) o Thetis, the dangerous sea nymph destined to have a son greater than the father, was a reluctant bride caught by Peleus, a mortal. He latched on to her while cycled through her shapes, and then she gave in and granted his wish: to marry him.  Eventually the prophecy came true with she gave birth to Achilles o Galatea and the Cyclops Polyphemus  Polyphemus falls for the beautiful sea-nymph Galatea “Milky Whit One” and tries to mend his savage ways (beauty and the beast motif)  But Galatea loves another, the youth Acis  One day the Cyclops finds Galatea and Acis in each others arms, and enraged, pursues them. Galatea leaps into the sea and escapes but Acis gets crushed by a boulder hurled by the Cyclops.  Blood which flows from beneath the tock is turned into the Acis River o Amphitrite, like Hera is always catching her husband, Poseidon, having affairs and tries to take revenge on the women  Her and Poseidon have a merman son, Triton, who as the trumpeter of the sea plays upon his conch shell- he usually calms the sea with his music - Proteus, sometimes regarded as a son of Poseidon, is the quintessential shape-shifter o Best known myth is of Menelaus’ encounter with him in Egypt when the hero is returning Greece from the Trojan War o Eidothea, Proteus’ daughter, helps Menelaus catch Proteus when he basks in the sun on the beach with his herd of seals. o Proteus is snared by Menelaus with the help of Eidothea. (She kills and skins 4 of her father’s seals. Menelaus and his men hide in the skins and when Proteus falls asleep, Menelaus jumps on and holds onto Proteus until he is granted a wish) Poseidon - God of the sea, brother to Zeus. - Iconography- mature, bearded, powerful, though distinct in his carrying of the trident (3 pronged fork or fisherman’s spear) - Called “the earthshaker” and can produce earthquakes or cause the sea to seethe with his trident or destroy by striking with it - Has a golden palace under the sea near Aegae in Thrace and is partly defined by his hatred of Odysseus for blinding his son, Polyphemus (the Cyclops) - Origin o Linear B tablets, his name appears as Poseidaon (Lord of the Earth) o His origin is disputed if his trident represents what once was a thunderbolt, then he was first a god of the sky (most scholars reject this now) o More likely, he was first a male god of fertility, a god of earth who could send up springs of water and soon comes to be connected to the sea in general o Linked to fertile inland animals, such as horses and bulls so he is invoked as Poseidon Hippios (of horses) and Poseidon Taureos (of bulls) o Very old myth says that Demeter was out searching for her daughter, Persephone, and Poseidon pursued her. She turned into a mare by the transformed into a stallion and mated her - Famous story tells of Poseidon and Athena vying for control of Athens and the territory of Attica o In their contest on the Acropolis at Athens, Poseidon strikes a rock with his trident and brings forth a salt spring, Then Athena touches the ground with her spear and sprouts an olive tree o Athena proclaimed victor - Iris “Rainbow” is the goddess of the rainbow and a messenger of the gods, fleet-footed and winged- a rainbow is seen as a bridge between earth and heaven, so she brings the tiding of the gods to mortals o Sometimes said to be the servant to Hera, while Hermes is a messenger for Zeus - The Harpies (sisters to Iris) o Their name means “the Snatches”- first conceived of as strong winds but later in art and literature they are portrayed as terrifying, bird-like women to menace certain men o Considered myth of old, blind prophet Phineus and the Harpies in Jason and the Argonauts voyage - Other water divinities: o The Graeae “the Gray Ones” are 3 sisters, the personifications of old age: gray hair from birth, though often depicted as beautiful and swan-like- now represented as hideous hags o Still, they share one eye and one tooth among them o The three Gorgons are portrayed with snaky hair and are so terrifying that their very glance can turn men to stone- variously depicted but often winged, scaly, sometimes with boar’s tusks, and with a broad smile of menacing teeth and a protruding tongue o Medusa was the most famous Gorgon, though she was a very beautiful maiden to begin with  Medusa mated with Poseidon in a sacred temple and angered the gods so she was transformed into a Gorgon  When Medusa was beheaded by Perseus, the wondrous winged horse, Pegasus was born from her bloody neck  Pegasus’ name is derived from Greek pegai “springs (of water)” when Pegasus’ hoof struck the earth on Mt. Helicon, the inspirational spring of poets, Hippocrene, was supposedly created  Note that Pegasus is Poseidon’s offspring and he has a horsey nature like his father


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