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Classical Mythology Week 2 and 3

by: Dana Bramlitt

Classical Mythology Week 2 and 3 FL 4143

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Dana Bramlitt

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These notes cover information on Zeus, Hera, Aphrodite, and Ares
Classical Mythology
Scott Di Giulio
Class Notes
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This 9 page Class Notes was uploaded by Dana Bramlitt on Saturday September 3, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to FL 4143 at Mississippi State University taught by Scott Di Giulio in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 3 views.


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Date Created: 09/03/16
Classical Mythology Notes Week 2  Prof. Scott DiGiulio Hesiod  Earliest individual poet in Greek.  o Working probably in the 8 /7  c. BCE  Works o Theogony o Works and Days o Catalogue of Women (only survives in fragments)­ list of mythological  women, their exploits, children, and husbands  We infer from his poetry that:  o Lived in Ascra, Boeotia (Greek mainland) o Competed in poetic competitions  Agonistic Culture: (agon means contest in Greek) Hesiod’s Theogony  Poem o Written in the “epic” dialect of Greek­ also in the meter of epic: dactylic  hexameter  Theogony o Account of the birth of the gods (gonos= birth, theoi= gods)  Cosmogony o Account of the creation of the universe.   Hymn?  o Epiphany o First 115 lines when the muses appear Setting of Theogony  Hesiod was around the Mt. Helicon (near/below Delphi)  Hesiod and The Muses Theogony 27­29 “Hillbillies and bellies poor excuses for shepherds, we know  how to tell many believable lies, but also, when we want to, how to speak the  plain truth.” Hesiod’s Muses o Muse                   Domain o Clio                     History o Euterpe               Lyric poetry o Thaleia               Comedy o Melpomene        Tragedy o Terpsichore    Choral song and dance o Erato                   Love poetry o Polyhymnia        Sacred poetry o Urania                Astronmy o Calliope             Epic poetry *Theogony 99­104 Outline of the Theogony  Proem/‘Hymn’ to the Muses 1­115  Chaos and the first gods 116­125 o Earth, Tartaros, Eros, Erebos, Night  The generation of Cronos 126­232 o Children of Night and Earth; castration of Ouranos (Heaven)  birth of  Aphrodite  Descendants of the Sea 233­455  Descendants of the Titans 456­508  Three challenges to Zeus 509­885  Children of the Olympians 886­969  Farewell 970­975  Goddesses that slept with mortals 976­end Narrative Building Blocks  Proem  Catalogues  Episodes What is a catalogue?   A list  *Theogony 76­80 What do they do?   Serves as a reference to who someone is. There are no previous records of these  people, so this gives us some background. Also, they are creating the authoritative list.  What are the principal ‘episodes’ of the Theogony?   Castration of Heaven (Ouranos)  o Birth of Aphrodite  Cronos devouring his children o Birth of Zeus on Crete  Challenges to Zeus’ power  o Prometheus o Titanomachy (battle of Titans)  o Typhoeus (Typhon)  Birth of Aphrodite­ The castration of Ouranos   Aphrodite and others were born from the blood of Ouranos.  Prometheus  Means forethought and cunning in Greek  Etiology­ Greek sacrifices  Prometheus tricks the gods, gets punished by being bound to a rock as an eagle  eats his liver everyday.   Typhoeus Conquered and banished by Zeus Nature of the gods  Anthropmorphic o Principal dwelling place on Olympus o Food­ nectar and ambrosia o Blood­ichor o Sexuality o Stronger, faster, and more beautiful than humans­ not  omnipresent/omniscient o Can take life, but they can’t bestow it.  Pandora  Man’s punishment after receiving fire from Prometheus.  Parallels for Hesiod Enuma Elish (Babylonian, no later than 1100 BCE) Kingship in Heaven (Hittite) Song of Ullikummi (Hittite)  Enuma  Succession crisis o Conflict between Apsu and his child o Tiamat turns on child o Like Hesiod, envisions the formation and organization of the world as  process and change.  Kingship   Very fragmented but similar succession myths and conflicts between generations o Alalush overthrown by Anush Kumarbi o Storm god ultimately overthrows Song of Ullikummi  Kumarbi plans to kill his son Teshub, the storm god.   Begets.. The Earliest Men; Zeus and Hera Theogony’s Major Themes  Succession o Titans take over from Ouranos; Olympians take over from Titans  Power of Myth  Hymn of the Muses  Intro of Order to Comos Creation of Men  Not present in Theogony, although there we have stories that touch on early man.  o Prometheus­ tricks gods with sacrifice; give men fire o Pandora­ gods created her to punish men  Generally, fairly few myths about creation in Classical Myth, and rarely their own subject.  o More interested in regional origins. *Hesiod Works and Days 129­134 Five Races of Men  Hesiod describes five races, each named after a metal o Gold (129­147)­ predates Zeus’ reign o Silver (148­160)­ created and destroyed by Zeus o Bronze (161­177) o Heroes (178­194) o Iron (195­234)­ current generation of human beings An Alternate Creation  Apollodorus Library 1.7.1­1.7.3 o Prometheus actually created humans according to Apollodorus. The Flood Myth  Zeus goes among men of the Bronze Age to see whether they are good.   After meeting the king Lycaon, Zeus chooses to destroy humanity.   Deucalion, the son of Promtheus, and his wife, Pyrrha, daughter of Epimetheus  and Pandora, survive.   Begin to repopulate mankind Ancient Flood Myths  Other examples o Noah (Judeo­Christian) o Ziusudra and Utnapishtism (Akkadian) o Parallels in Hindu mythology Common tropes Majority of mankind destroyed because of vice Mankind originally comes from the earth Simple pairings Why is this myth so common? Principle episodes of the Theogony  Castration of Heaven (Ouranos) o Birth of Aphrodite  Kronos devouring his children o Birth of Zeus on Crete  Challenges to Zeus’ power o Prometheus o Titanomachy o Typhoeus (Typhon) Zeus Epithets: “most glorious; “most great;” “most supreme” Father of the gods and men o Zeu pater in Greek is very frequent as early as Homer Attributes: Scepter, eagle, thunderbolts “Nothing comes to fulfillment without Zeus” o Aeschylus’ Agamemnon, line 1487 Zeus Overview Son of Kronos and Rhea Born on Crete in secret Overthrows Kronos, saves Olympians, and becomes king of the gods Overcomes three major challenges to rule o Prometheus o Defeat of Titans (imprisoned in Tartarus) o Defeat of Typhoeus/Typhon o Ultimately marries sister Hera: “sacred wedding”  But has many children with other women and goddesses other than Hera o Looking ahead tends to side with Troy during the Trojan War The Hesiodic Zeus; Works and Days 1­20 Zeus as god of justice In the Theogony, marries Themis (‘Order’) and is father of Dike (‘Right’) Also punisher of oath­breakers and protector of suppliants o Archilochus (lyric poet, 6  cth Towards an early monotheism?  Aeschylus fr. 70 (first half of 5  c. BCE) o “Zeus is sky, Zeus is earth, Zeus is heaven; Zeus is everything and all that  is beyond these things.” Zeus as moral?  Xenophanes (6  c. BCE lyric poet) fr. 11 o “Both Homer and Hesiod ascribed to the gods all things that evoke  reproach and blame among human beings, theft and adultery, and mutual  deception.”  Prototype: Phidias’ Zeus o Pausanias description of Greece 5.11.1 Attributions of Zeus  Scepter, eagle, thunderbolts, aegris (shield/breastplate) Hera Consort of Zeus, and thus queen of heaven Goddess of marriage o Also mother of Eris, goddesss of discord­ including marital strife Goddess of fertility and childbirth Strongly supports the Greeks in the Trojan War (feels slighted by the Judgement  of Paris) Hera’s Centers of Worship Samos­ oldest temple to/in her aspect as god of marriage th Argos­ oldest shrine in the region; right outside of the city. It’s at least 6  c. Pausanias description of Greece 2.17.1­7 Hesido Theogony 926­928 “Last of all Zeus made Hera his blossoming wife, And she gave birth to Hebe  (youth), Eileithyia (childbirth), and Ares (War; only Olympian). After mingling in love with the lord of gods and men.” A “sacred wedding” (heirosgamos) violates incest taboo, mass amount of  infidelity, never a happy marriage. The Binding of Hera Pausanias description of Greece 1.20.3 Aprhodite In the Theogony Born from genitals of castrated Ouranos (Uranus) Born on island of Cyprus Born from the foam that collects around the severed parts of Ouranos Name implied to mean foam The Birth of Eros One of the first gods in the Theogony 2 possible traditions? o Hesiod Theogony 116­122 o Hesiod Theogony 201­202 Eros and the Erotes An Alternate Tradition: Plato’s Symposium 20362­c5 Aprhodite as a Near Eastern goddess? Ishtar/Inamna­ Sumerian and Babylonian goddess of fertility and love Isis­ Egyptian Aprhodite Epithets Ourania (the heavenly) Chrysea (the golden) Kypris (from Cyprus) Philommeides (laughter­loving)­ possibly related to Philommedes (genital­loving) Pandemos (of all the people) Polos (with the high crown) Daughter of Zeus Epistrophia (she who turns [to love]) Aside: The Aprhodite of Knidos Most famous of antiquity Renowned for its beauty Plato Epigram 17 “When Cypris saw Cypris at Cnidus, ‘Alas! Said she; where did Praxiteles see me nake?’” Aprhodite Kallipygos Athenaeus The Learned Banqueters 554b­c Aprhodite as a Cause of Strife Judgment of Paris Cheats on her husband Hephaestus­ “The Song of Ares and Aprhodite” Causes the other gods to commit adultery as well, including (especially) Zeus. Homeric Hymn ‘To Aprhodite’ Attributed to Homer o Written in Homeric language and meter One of the four long Hymns (out of 33 total) Zeus’ revenge on Aphrodite Main episodes: seduction of Anehises; epiphany of the goddess and his son,  Aeneas Questions for reflection What are the central relations in the hymn? How do interactions between gods differ from those between gods and mortals? Why would a hymn in praise of Aphrodite be putting her in a humiliating  situation? Ares Hesiod Theogony 926­928 Mythic Traditions Son of Zeus and Hera Personification of ‘blood lust’ Several children with Aphrodite  o Phobos (fear) o Deinos (dread) o In some accounts, Harmonia Most important in mythology for his affairs with Aphrodite. The Gods’ Attitudes Towards Ares Homer Iliad 5. 889­898 The Song of Ares and Aphrodite


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