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Myth Notes: Weeks 1-3

by: Kaylee Notetaker

Myth Notes: Weeks 1-3 CLS 1600-03

Kaylee Notetaker
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Here are my notes for weeks 1-3. I accidentally deleted week 4's notes so I am working on those.
Greek Mythology
Jeannette Carol Marchand
Class Notes




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This 10 page Class Notes was uploaded by Kaylee Notetaker on Sunday September 25, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to CLS 1600-03 at Wright State University taught by Jeannette Carol Marchand in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 74 views. For similar materials see Greek Mythology in Classical Mythology at Wright State University.


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Date Created: 09/25/16
Mythology Notes a language of metaphor to explain the world Greeks create new myths using this ^ • there is always something further back (more stories) In Medias Res: “in the middle of things” A Myth: The Judgement (choice) of Paris RULE #1: There are ALWAYS consequences. • it is hard figuring out the exact moment to tell the story because there is always further back you can go. Zeus: King of Heaven; physical strength; good looking; Greeks say he hasn't always been God, and may not always be God. Poseidon: Zeus’ brother; rivals; King of the Sea. Gods are always on the lookout for lovers. • Thetis: minor Goddess; Sea Nymph; beautiful; unpredictable; she can take any shape, just like water. • Zeus and Poseidon compete for Thetis. - Everything is a competition in the Greek world. Anon = competition Prophesy: Thetis is destined to have a son that is greater than his father. Prophecies are never wrong. Sues cannot let this happen for himself nor Poseidon. Poseidon is almost as powerful as Zeus so it is possible for the son of Thetis and Poseidon to overthrow Zeus. • Zeus came to power by overthrowing his own father. - What will he do? Look into the mortal world. He will marry Thetis off to a mortal. • God (immortal - cannot die) + mortal (can die) = mortal (Thetis’ son will die and cannot overthrow Zeus) • Zeus finds the greatest mortal around for Thetis to marry: Peleus - He told Peleus that if he holds onto Thetis through all of her shifting and changing, she will become his. He did this, so Thetis married Peleus. • Wedding of the year; Eris (Goddess of strife and discord) was not invited which she was not happy about. She got a golden apple (symbol of weddings) and wrote Kalliste (“for the most beautiful woman”) on it. <— competitive society; 3 Goddess’ went for the apple: Aphrodite: Goddess of lust Athena: Goddess of victory and war Hera: Queen of Heaven (Zeus’ wife) Zeus does not want to chose between the 3 (his wife and 2 daughters) so he looks to the • mortal world again. - He spots Paris/Alexandros prince of Troy hearing sheep. Zeus thinks Paris is the perfect guy for this. Why? good looking. - The Goddess’ bribe Paris. Aphrodite offers lust; offers the most beautiful person: Helen of Sparta. Athena offers to make him a war hero. Hera offers domestic success/great ruler. - Paris chooses Aphrodite. What is the consequence? ALWAYS A CONSEQUENCE. Helen is married. - It is up to Paris to make it happen. - He goes to Sparta while her husband (Menelaus) is away. Helen runs off with Paris —> Trojan War. Achilles: son of Thetis; best possible mortal; great warrior. Aristos: “the best” Arete: “excellence” Achilles proves in Trojan war. • Achilles has a choice: go to the Trojan War, die and forever be known as a hero or don't go, live a long and happy life and be a nobody. • Achilles will confront Paris at the Trojan War. If it were up to us, Achilles would kill Paris, but that doesn't happen. • • What to ask about myths: - What’s the underlying structure? - What relationships do these explore? Oikos: house; household; family; blood lines; very aristocratic; qualities through blood • Greeks have no problem with stories being different or contradicting; both being true at the same time; each tells more about the other story. • Greek Religion: each city had their own; myths told to explain that cities religion. Different cities have different stories. • Myth should be ORALLY told. No text. No author. etiology: an explanation. etiological: providing an explaination, an origin for a phenomenon/practice. Myths: - supernatural - convey what is acceptable - entertainment that reenforces social - history - sociological aspect - exploring human experiences - providing a moral lesson • Double standard in the ancient world; not okay to have affairs but the Gods had them. • Gods are idealized physically but not morally - Why aren't they idealized morally? Religion is NOT about morals; not a concern. • Greeks avoid moral judgment; they don't use good/bad/evil warrior: good at violence duality: figure associated with violence; has good AND bad empirical: based on observation ambivalence: having 2 connotations multivalence: having many connotations • Did the God abandon the man when the man died? As humans, Greeks cannot know why the Gods do anything. Greek is so long lasting because thee formulas still explain the world today. • • Not believing in their religion was not possible. Religion: Agrarian: dependent on agriculture. numen/numinous: “full of gods” help or harm —> a spirit. • Nymphs are females for the most part. - Associated with nature. - There is one for every major landscape. - inviting • If there is a spring it is potential help or potential danger. • Abstract ideas - personification • Sleep - personification (capital S) Nemesis: devine retribution; karma? not moral at core; force that brings consequences because of your actions. example: accidentally walk somewhere you shouldn’t, Nemesis will follow. Themis: that which is right by nature; natural law Olympian Gods: major Gods; every Greek worships them; live on top of Mt. Olympus; real place and conceptual; covered by clouds; remote; began being associated with nature. Types of Gods: - minor Gods - local Gods - Nymphs - Olympian Gods - Heroes • Worship Gods and Heroes - Couldn't have religion without heroes NO BOOKS IN GREEK RELIGION; NO BIBLE assimilation: the process of conflating local Gods found in Homers poems. cultic: each salutary had its own rules. • Homers Iliad and Odyssey were the closest things to a text; portrays the Gods; so important Greeks passed it around; ensured Homer makes family tree. • Alea + Athena = AthenaAlea • Identifying a specific Goddess: - basic name - cult title - place where she is worshipped • Only worship Goddess’s of your own city. appeal: try to get the good things; worship them. appease: keep them from getting the negative things. • Not omnipresent: not always around. temeons: a place marketed off; What protects this? Nemesis. • A Rule: ritual clean. You are unclean if you've come in contact with death. How to know if they're a real God: if they have an altar. • • adios: show respect for a God. Agalma/agalmata: “things in which the Gods delight”; things they WANT; offerings at their altar. ^ stature is Agalma • They offer: - food - drinks - inscents - clay statuettes temple: shelter for the statues • Contractual - Gods retract what you ask for. charis: favor, charm, grace. • Communities of identity. Panhellenic: open to all Greeks. • Each city has its own calendar and worshipped one set of Gods. supplication: social contract between individuals; making a relationship between individuals not related by blood. - Place hand on their chin. - Grab them by their knees. ^ expectation is that they will accept; they will get an enhancement. • How to supplicate a God: grabbing their statue; sitting on their altar. Heroes: a person who is believed to be a mortal person who, when they died, somehow they have some kind of power around their remains (mounds). Greeks treated them like Gods; morality is not part of it. ^ their stories start because they are angry. chthonic: having to do with the earth. chthon: earth. • Appealing to their ghosts; heroes are usually pretty angry. • Come up from under the ground. • Worship similar: - Gods: sky - Heroes: ground The 7 Against Thebes: in the powerful city of Thebes • Sons of Oedipus: Eteokles and Polyneikes. ^ Oedipus left his city to the both of them. • Who should be king? They decided to rule in alternate years. • Eteokles ran the city first and when it was time to give up the thrown, he refused and kicked Polyneikes out of the city. • Seven massive gates around the city. • Eteokles searches for 7 great, undefeatable warriors to protect each gate. • Thebes is virtually impossible to take over. • Polyneikes searches for 7 equally powerful men to take over Thebes. - He goes to Argos; King Adrastos - Adrastos has 2 daughters reaching marriageable age. - Polyneikes marries one daughter. • Tydeus:[father of Diomedes (Trojan war hero)] - another option to marry a daughter off to. • Adrastos asks Delphi (city) for help with this decision. - Delphi never directly answers; answer with a riddle. - “yolk a bore and a lion…” • Marries a daughter to each man. • Tydeus can now help with attacking Thebes. They have 6 people; need one more. • Amphiaraos: profit; seer; he can see that this fight will not go well. Eriphyle: Amphiaraos’ wife; Adrastos’ sister. • Tydeus gets Amphiaraos to go to the fight by bribing Eriphyle with a beautiful necklace. She wants this because she is again and does not feel pretty anymore. They go. • Going to Thebes, they have no water for their horses, so they stop at Nemea; a place with water. SIDE STORY: • In Nemea, a priest and his wife are having trouble having children. This is a problem because they will not be able to have their name carried on through generations. They eventually give birth to a son named Opheltes (fertility). They ask the Gods —> Delphi how to keep their son alive to ensure he carries their name on. Again, they send a riddle: “don’t let the boy touch the ground until he can walk.” What does this mean? The couple hires a servant woman (Hipsipyle) and told her to NEVER put the baby on the ground. Hipsipyle goes to the well to get water and sees the 7 men. They ask her to get them water, but she’s holding a baby. She looks for a spot to put him where he will not be touching the ground. She sets him on a celery plant. The baby falls through the plant onto the ground and a snake strangles him. (Opines: snake.) The 7 are sorry for the parents. This is a bad omen. Amphiaraos climbs to the flat mountain to consult Gods. The death of the baby foreshadows the quest; 1 of 7 of the men will survive. The baby is an angry ghost now; they gave him a hero burial. The cult name is Archhemoros (“beginner of doom”). • The 7 continue on. Adrastos is the only one that survives. • Eteokles and Polyneikes kill each other. Their sister buries Polyneikes and that is not good in the eyes of the city. Tydeus gets wounded in the stomach. • - Athena tries to help by going to get a healing serum for him. - Amphiaraos doesn't want Tydeus to survive so while Athena is gone, Amphiaraos runs after the man that wounded Tydeus, cuts off his head and tells Tydeus to eat a piece of his brains. He does and Athena sees and doesn't give him the serum. - Tydeus dies. Amphiaraos thunders away on his chariot, calls out to Zeus, and Zeus throws a lighting bolt, • cracks open the ground and Amphiaraos falls into the ground and disappears. • Later, the children of the 7 go on a quest; they win and only 1 dies (Adrastos’ son) • Take aways: - Amphiaraos was right. - There is a sanctuary where Amphiaraos died. - He retains his abilities of being a profit. - Greeks can ask him how to ward off sickness. • Hero of the story: Opheltes ^ Nemean Games —> sanctuary to Zeus; offer games to Zeus. - better preserved than Olympia. - prize: wreath made of CELERY. THE GODS: they are immortal; cannot die; not ageless though (age to a certain point appropriate to their description); age tells a lot about a God; associated with the natural world, roll in family, roll in society: fit together and make sense. • Human Life: child, adult, old-age. - Child: babies - pre-teen; before you're sexually mature; women are an adult when they menstruate; marry young; men are not pressured for marriage; men are an adult when they grow a beard —> 18 or 19 years old; start taking responsibilities; take a citizen status; start military training. - Adult: women: when they can have children. men: getting older; has a beard. - Old-Age: women: when she cant have children anymore. men: when the son takes over the household. Ephebe: a youth; young man; privileged. Hermes: older man Zeus: king; adult male; always has a beard; social justice; social contracts; supplication Apollo: young man; peach fuzz; cannot grow a beard. • Earth (Gaia): feminine element. MUST WED FOR THERE TO BE LIFE Sky (Ouranos): masculine element. • - sending the weather. - rains just enough for crops; too much is a flood. - don’t make Zeus mad. - displeasure = lightening bolts. Iconography: symbolic representation Zeus’ iconography: beard; tall; big locks of hair; shown holding a bolt; bigger than everyone • else; on a thrown; holding a staff (a symbol of power); holding a bird (an eagle); surrounded by family; “Zeus the father”. Married to Hera. • Hera: adult; no association with nautre; wife; rights of wives; fierce with protection. Telos:end, goal, fulfillment. • Hera’s iconography: fully clothed; exposing 1 breast; one hand on shoulder. • Iconography of a man holding a woman on the wrist shows marriage or are. • Children of Hera and/or Zeus: - Ares: God of War; only son; least worshipped; adult; hated by everyone. - Hebe: Goddess of Youth - Eileithuia: Goddess of Childbirth. - Hephaistos: God of Forge; blacksmith; only Hera’s son; adult; over-developed; worshipped as a saint for craftsmen. Story 1: Hera got so angry with Zeus for having so many affairs so she wanted to have her own child without him. Somehow produces Hephaistos by herself; her protector. Throws him down from Olympus. Story 2: Zeus punished Hera and Hephaistos tried to protect her and Zeus threw him down from Olympus. • Zeus doesn't like Hephaistos because he wouldn't take his side. These sons could overthrow their father, Zeus. If you aren't Zeus’ child, you're his brothers/sisters or illegitimate children. • Brothers: - Hades: God of Underworld; personification of death - Poseidon: God of the Sea; untamed; unpredictable; rival to Zeus; working against the social order of Zeus; God of the Wild Horses of Nature; earthquakes; animals untamed AND tamed; male forces; chaotic impulses. • Both look exactly like Zeus. Can only tell the difference with iconography; different attributes; Poseidon has a trident (3-pronged fork); Hades has cornucopia (bounty of the earth) Equal in status and strength; each took a part of the world for themselves. • • Zeus claims to be the strongest of the 3. • All the Gods together are a threat to Zeus. Sisters: - Hestia: cannot leave the house; never get married; adult; very little myth; represents central importance of family in the ocus. - Hera: wife - Demeter: Goddess of Grain; agriculture; earth mother figure; mate with Zeus to make daughter Persephone who becomes the wife of Hades; another possible option for a wife. - Persephone: marries Hades; wants to go home from under the ground Children of Zeus only (illegitamate children): younger; associated with issues with coming of age; progressive; about things that advance humans one step forward; - Athena: Goddess of Wisdom; best thing to say about her? No. intelligence with war; strategy; cleverness; practical intelligence; younger; not married; virgin; designation of her age; 13 maybe? closely associated with taming the house; make it useful to mankind. - Artemis: Goddess of the Hunt; virgin; not married; young; 13 maybe? - Apollo: God of Prophesy; the young man; the son; music; ephebe; youth; boy; 18 maybe? he and Artemis are twins but he’s older. - Hermes: God of Physical Transitions; protecting through your transitions. - Dionysos: God of the Grape Vine; agriculture; wine; everything that happens when you get drunk. - Aphrodite: Goddess of Lust; older than the other Gods; story that sets her outside of the ocus; Eros: desire; without a desire there cannot be an action in the world; no role in the family; 2 husbands; eros between husband and wife; can be outside of the marriage; not about creating legit children; adult. Xenia: hospitality, guest-friendship; reciprocal relationship. Signs of civilized life (rules of hospitality): - Expected to be offered a minimal amount of hospitality without being asked your name. - First thing you offer: a drink (wine). - Always mixed the wine with water. - Then offer something to eat. - Bath & clothes. - Sharing a meal. - Now your host can ask your name and you're obligated to tell them. - Now you can decide what more to offer. - If guest is wealthy; offer more. - Want to create an on-going friendship: exchange a gift of hospitality. - Value of gift indicates the amount of status Diomedes and Glaukos: Iliad book 6. Xenon, pl. xenoi: guest OR host The 4 social contracts: - xenia (hospitality) - marriage - supplication - oaths • Chthonic version of Zeus = Hades • Homer’s Iliad: “Sing, goddess, the anger of Peleus’ son Achilleus and its devastation, which put Pains thousandfold upon the Achaians…”


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