Cla 322 4/12/16
Cla 322 4/12/16 CLA 322 P
Popular in greek Mythology: Monsters
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CLA 322 P
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This 15 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kenya on Saturday April 16, 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 6 views. For similar materials see greek Mythology: Monsters in Classical Studies at University of Miami.
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Date Created: 04/16/16
CLA 322 Monsters 4/12/2016 Western Phoenix continued: “Now the Phoenix's bright eye grows dim and the pupil becomes palsied by the frost of years, like the moon when she is shrouded in clouds and her horn beings to vanish in the mist. Now his wings, wont to cleave the clouds of heaven, can scarce raise them from the earth. Then, realizing that his span of life is at an end and in preparation for a renewal of his splendour, he gathers dry herbs from the sun-warmed hills, and making an interwoven heap of the branches of the precious tree of Saba he builds that pyre which shall be at once his tomb and his cradle. On this he takes his seat and as he grows weaker greets the Sun with his sweet voice; offering up prayers and supplications he begs that those fires will give him renewal of strength. Phoebus [Apollon or Helios the Sun], on seeing him afar, checks his reins and staying his course consoles his loving child with these words: ‘Thou who art about to leave thy years behind upon yon pyre, who, by this pretence of death, art destined to rediscover life; thou whose decease means but the renewal of existence and who by self-destruction regainest thy lost youth, receive back thy life, quit the body that must die, and by a change of form come forth more beauteous than ever.’ So speaks he, and shaking his head casts one of his golden hairs and smites willing Phoenix with its life-giving effulgence. Now, to ensure his rebirth, he suffers himself to be burned and in his eagerness to be born again meets death with joy. Stricken with the heavenly flame the fragrant pile catches fire and burns the aged body. The moon in amaze checks her milk-white heifers and heaven halts his revolving spheres, while the pyre conceives the new life; Nature takes care that the deathless bird perish not, and calls upon the sun, mindful of his promise, to restore its immortal glory to the world.” THINK: What is the purpose of this bid? Why does it continue to be appealing? o Focusing point for some human aspiration? Why is it born again? Does it get something different each time it is born again? Is life the same every time it is reborn? “Nature takes care that the deathless bird perish not” Everything else in nature perishes, why is this bird special? He places on the altar that from which he is sprung and that which remains of himself. Bright shines the wondrous threshold; the fragrant shrine is filled with the holy smoke of the altar and the odour of Indian incense, penetrating even as far as the Pelusiac marshes, fills the nostrils of men, flooding them with its kindly influence and with a scent sweeter than that of nectar perfumes the seven mouths of the dark Nile. Happy bird, heir to thine own self! Death which proves our undoing restores thy strength. Thine ashes give thee life and though thou perish not thine old age dies. Thou hast beheld all that has been, hast witnessed the passing of the ages. Yet did no destruction overwhelm thee; sole survivor thou livest to see the earth subdued; against thee the Fates gather not up their threads, powerless to do thee harm." “Thou hast beheld all that has been, hast witnesses the passing of ages” The phoenix has been here since the beginning of time, witness to life itself. Witnesses the passing of time experiencing and transcends it at the same time The bird is on par with the gods, but has experience of death. He bridges the worlds of the Athanatoi and mortals. What kind of immortality is this? Not Olympian This a play on how one would spend a long life. Like where the phoenix lives for a thousand years, the increasing years increases the weariness of life. DO YOU REALLY WANT THIS LIFE? At the end of his years, the bird welcomes death very willingly This is immortality in the sense of existing in a mortal body, where though it is reborn it experiences birth, decay and death every time. Also, immortal in that you don’t spend your afterlife as a boring shade in the dismal underworld, but are reborn in a new body, retaining yourself. Why the one phoenix? Why can’t there be more? It’s an aspiration instead of a practical bird, there need be only one BACKING UP: Comparing Western and Eastern Phoenix (East)—West Common: Element of newness, regality/rarity Difference: Western Phoenix Image of immortality through the experience of mortality (not emphasized in Eastern Phoenix) The Unicorn Greek version: Ctesias (Greek Physician) “There are in India certain wild assess…” This animal doesn’t have its own name, but it has unicorn characteristics This animal has something unique: The one horn, and the Ankle bone Drinking from the horn protects u, the horn has positive magic Fast, so much so none can overtake it, and it’s hard to catch (alive) Only way to catch it is when it is protecting its offspring, and even then it can’t be taken alive You can’t eat it o It would be near sacrilegious to enjoy eating it Pliny the elder (23-79 ce) We get closer to our concept of a unicorn nd Aelian (2 ce) Not everyone gets to drink from these horns/ decoration o Showing some sort of veneration? Association with elusiveness It can free you from incurable diseases: It can do what seems impossible, it can resolve the unresolvable Takes care of human needs that humans can’t take care of RHINO: Idea that eating the ground horn , cures hangovers Indian rhino horn, repelled disease and malicious things (because of the lore of the one horn Did it help shape the unicorn idea? Old Testament turns to the unicorn as symbol for powerful spirituality: Book of Daniel Why is one horn more powerful than two? Then for Christians: Christ the unicorn St. Basil “Christ is the power of God, therefore he is called the unicorn on the ground that He has one horn, that is, one common power with the Father.” Unicorn as the symbol of innocence (Christ) From Latin physiolugus: Capture a unicorn with a virgin? “Horn of Salvation” Horn of abundance Associated with Demeter and Ceres Used to symbolize the quenching of spiritual thirst/hunger (in Christian context) The pure maiden idea popularizes the unicorn: Putting all his trust in this maiden, gets him captured and killed every time Why? Can this degree of innocence be allowed to exist in this world? th Guillaume le Clerc (13 c) Correlation b/w fate of Christ and unicorn Pure, White, innocence becomes popular Late Greek physiologus
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