Greek And Roman Mythology Essay
Greek And Roman Mythology
Divine Myth; •“True myths” or “myth proper”. Stories in which the main characters are super natural beings. Generally explain some aspect of the world •Example would be Zeus over throwing his father and the related stories; creation of myths and of the ancient greeks •Nyx (Night): the abstract concept of night given to a few human characteristics. Union of Nyx and Erebus (Darkness) produced their opposites, aether ”Radiance” and herma “day” Legends (Sagas) •Latin word is Legenda “something that must be read”. Originated referred to Christian Stories of the saints. •Stories of great deeds from humans.
(Semi-divine), usually narrates the events of the human past •Stories of the Trojan war and the exploits of Achilles and the other Greek heroes fit into this category. Troy and Legend •Heinrich Schliemann 1822-1890 •Believed that Homer’s stories about Troy were based on historical truth •Funded archaeological digs at Troy and later at Mycenae •Founded a huge horde of gold and jewels, “Priam’s Treasure” Folktales •Stories whose characters are ordinary people or animals; folk takes serve both to entertain and teach or justify. •Greeks had a work for folk talk, “Ainos” (Simple fable)
•Hesiod Works and Days “The hawk and the nightingale” Motifs •Regular appearance of certain identifiable narrative patterns in a story •The modern novel we see the motif of water or light which consistently comes up n the story, serves as a thread running throughout •Simple motifs include; double (Twins, doppelgangers); dragons, etc Theories of Myth Allegory •Greek word meaning “say something differently” •Similar to symbolism Physical Allegory •THEAGENES (6TH CENTURY B. C. )
•First use of allegory to interpret myth •Myths about battles between gods really represented natural conflicts between natural causes •Based his interpretations on opposites. •One god may represent fire and another water.
Clashes represent eternal conflicts between fire and water False Etymologies •Means getting to the root of a word •Cronus (father of Zeus) •Greeks tried to relate Cronus to Crono (Time) •Cronus eats children (Time devours everything) •However Cronus and Crono are not etymologically related words Historical Allegory Euhemerism •An interpretation created by Euhemerus (ca 300 B. C. ) •Opposed to physical allegory, Euhemerism says myths tell us historical truths not philosophical truthsю
•Gods are historical figures, human kings ruled long ago and were transformed into stories by gods •Related to Euhemerism and false etymologies is the idea that myths were formed by an understanding. •Actaeoniane are not torn apart by his dogs, but ruined by spending all his money on hunting dogs The Minoans •Ca 2200 B. C. E – ca 1450 B. C. E •Elaborate palaces; significant wealth and technology •Bull is an important religious symbol •Worshipped female fertility goddess •No defensive structures- mastery of the sea •Non Indo-Europeans •Non Greek Speakers (Linear A script not deciphered) Thera (Modern Santorini)
•A rich Minoan culture that was destroyed ca 1630 BCE The End of the Minoans •ca 1450 B. C. E Minoan Civilization was destroyed and palaces burned •Palace at Cnossus Mycenaean •Ca 1600 B. C. E- 1150 B. C. E •Indo-European Greek Speakers (linear B script) •Mycenae’s ruled by powerful king •Warlike people- Bronze weaponry, chariots. •1150 B. C. E, palaces destroyed by fire. Linear B language lost for 400 years until Archeic Period •Re-emerged as Greek Alphabets Near Eastern Influence •Mesopotamia “Land between Rivers” (Tigris and Euphrates, modern Iraq) Important source for myths •Non Indo-Europeans speaking society.
( linguistic group than the Greeks) •Greek myths of the origin of the present world order, a universal flood and other myths show the influence of the near east. •Other important peoples that influenced Greek myth; Sumerians, Semites, Akk September 12, 2013 Creation Myths 1: Hesiod’s Theogony •Ca. 700 B. C. E •2 works survive intact (fragments of some of his other works are extent) •About the origin of the universe and the ascension of Zeus to “kings of the gods” •Works and Days: The account of the fall of man from a golden age to one of the iron •Elaborated on the personification of various aspects of life.
Eg Gaea is the mother nature •Gaea is in pain because of Uranos’ hatred of their off spring •Uranos imprisons his youngest children to Tartarus •Succession myth (Uranos feared that his children would take his power away from him) •Gaea encourages Cronus to exact revenge •Cronus threw Uranos genitals into the sea, which gave rise to Aphrodite (God of love/sexuality) •The Giants (Erinyes, Furies) and Melian ash-tree Nymphs sprang from Uranos spilled blood •Cronus warned by Gaea (Mother) and Uranos (Father), would be afraid of their off springs •Cronos (Time) and Rhea had ;
Zeus, Poseidon (Earth Shaker), Hades, Hera, Demeter, and Hestia •Once born, Cronos eats his children to prevent from being overthrown •Rhea, advice from her parents hid her youngest child, Zeus on the island of Crete in a cave. •Rhea gave Cronus a stone in place of Zeus’s place •Zeus raised in a cave by nymphs and fed milk from the goat Amalthea and the honey from the bee Melissa •Protected by the Corybantes (Whirlers)/ Curetes “young men”ю
•Metis (Cleverness) give Cronus an emetic (causes him to vomit his sons and daughters) •The stone become the famous omphalos placed in Delphi (Center of the earth) •Rhea and Cronos, and Gaia and Uranus The Titanomachy (War against the Titans) •Titans led by Cronus, Olympians led by Zeus •Some of the Cyclopes and the Hecatoncheires (the “Hundred-handers”) helped Zeus.
The Cyclopes fashioned Zeus’s thunderbolt. •Eventually the Olympians won •Zeus banishes Cronus to Tartarus, along with the other Titans where they are watched by the Hundred-handers •The women were neutral, they were not banished. Epimetheus, Prometheus, and Atlas were spared. •Atlas’s punishment was that he had to hold up the sky at the edge of the world Typhoesus/Typhons/Typhus •Typheous is the youngest son of Tartarus and Gaea •He was so terrifying that the Olympian gods fled to Egypt and disguised themselves as animals. •In a fierce battle (hurled, torn to sinews) Zeus defeated Typheous- Mt. Etna(Typheous was being held down there)
•Dragon combat motif (Characteristics where they are born inside the earth) (Dragons represent feminity; Zeus represents masculine values Birth of Athena •Zeus escapes the pattern of the succession myth (overthrown) •Zeus has married Metis and she was pregnant •Zeus swallowed Metis (Assimilated intelligence into himself) •Gave him a headache (Cracks his skull into allowing Athena to come out of his head)
•One of Zeus’s favorite children Gigantomachy •Not mentioned by Hesiod •Giants were urged to attack Olympus •Another test of Zeus’s powers •The Olympians defeat the Giants, in a great battle. •Zeus, Poseidon and Hades divide the world among themselves •Prophecy of the son of a mortal mother; Hercules. (Was the hero Zeus needed to defeat the giants) •Giants urged to attack by Gaea Creation Myths 2:
The Fall of Man The Punishment of Prometheus •Prometheus cultural hero (Gives mortals a chance) •Said to be the creator of humans •Prometheus tricked Zeus at Mekone unto reserving the edible parts of the sacrifice for humans •Gods get the bones and fat •Etiology (Explains the reason) Greek sacrificial custom •For the trick, Zeus punishes the humans (Withholds the fire)
Prometheus and Fire •Prometheus steals the fire back from heaven in a fennel-stalk •Punishment for this trickery Zeus sends Pandora to men and chains Prometheus, years later freed by Hercules. •Prometheus gets a visitation from an eagle every day to peck out his liver Pandora (All gifted) •Name means “all-gifted” because of all the gods contributed to her creation and endowed her with many charms. •Hephaestos- Fashions her from the earth •Athena- Gives her domestic skills.
•Aphrodite- gives her grace, beauty, desire and the ability to spark sexual longing •Graces and Persuasion: Necklaces •Epimetheus (after thought) is told by his brother Prometheus (fore thought) to not accept any gifts from Zeus •He sees Pandora and accepts Pandora •She carries a JAR ( not a box) •In the jar, it contains all the evil and good things •When she opens the jar, all the evil things fall to earth while the good things fly to heaven/ •Only “hope” is caught in the jar 4/5 Ages of Men; Hesiod’s Works and Days and Ovid’s Metamorphoses Ovid •43 B. C. E – 17 B. C. E •Works include Art of Love and the Metamorphoses.
•Exiled by Augustus Zeus : Father of Gods and Men •Derived from the Indo-European Sky God: di-cf. Germanic Tiu and Indic Dyaus Ritar – Roman Jupiter •“Cloud Gather” •Aegis bearing Zeus – “Goat Skin” a magical object that represented Zeus power, it often represented as a shield with snake headed tassels. Zeus lent it to Athena •Many Lovers: (Eurynome (Graces); Mnemosyne (Muses): Ganymede (cup-bearer to the gods): Themis (rules and order) •Many offspring (Sarpedon, Zeus’s Son, Minos’s brother; Moerae “fates”: Clotho “spinner”, Lachesis “apportioner” and Atropos “she who cannot be turned aside”; Horae “Seasons”.
•Zeus is renowned for his physical strength which guarantees his preeminence over all beings •Signature weapon which was the Lightning Bolt; Zeus Kataibates – “Zeus who descends” •Zeus is associated with the bull (Crete, power, fertility) and the Eagle •God of law and justice Dike- from the root “to point out” •Xenia (Formal guest friendship) cf. Xenophobia •As “The father of gods and men”, Zeus is a figurative father who oversees all that occurs on earth and in the heaven. •Literal father to a large number of gods and heroes- famous for his numerous consorts and paramours. 114 at some counts.
•Sexual procreation as a metaphor for agricultural production- rain; semen, earth- the womb •Famous story from IIiad associates Zeus’s exploits and the growth of vegetation – Aphrodite’s girdle/belt (a symbol of sexuality and sexual consent) & Hera’s use of it leads to grasses, flowers and plants springing from the earth on which they reclined. Hera: Who sits on a Golden Throne •Hera (Juno) •Zeus’s wife •Marriage and child birth •Mother of Ares (by Zeus), Eileithyia, Hebe(personification of youth) & Hephaestus (Crippled and made fun of ) (Two versions of parentage) •Persecutes Zeus’s mistresses and illegitimate children.
•Quarrels with Zeus incessantly •Seduces Zeus to turn tide of the Trojan War – Zeus; “remember when I strung you up…” Poseidon: Dark-Haired Lord of the Deep •God of the sea and earthquakes •Associated with the horse (drowned in a pool to sacrifice to Poseidon) •Produced Pegasus with the Gorgon Medusa (grotesque offspring: Polyphemus) Hades :Pluto’s “Wealthy One” •Name means “invisible” – unseen dead and the facelessness of death (Helm of invisilibty) •Never willingly allows anyone who comes to his “house” to leave •An immortal god but not an Olympian. Apollo •Origin of Apollo unknown; Lycian = Lycia (Asia Minor)?
Or association with Hyperborean ( 3 Winters mos. In the far north)= Nordic Origin? •Born on Delos ( Floating island – Hera’s persecution of Titaness Leto “light of day” •Artemis is his twin sister •Depicted as a physically perfect young man and un-bearded and with long hair. •God of music, aristocratic concerns and light (later came to be associated with the sun) •God of illness (arrows- “Lord of mouse”, they bring disease) and healing (Asclepius, his son was the god of medicine) •God of prophecy; killed Python to establish his Oracle of Delphi (Dragon-combat: cf. Marduk vs Tiamat and Zeus vs Typhoeus)- shaman.
•Known for his unhappy loves: Daphine, Cassandra, Sibyl at Cumae, Coronis (Asclepius Mother) Hermes; Psychompus; Mercury (Soul guide, or the leader of the souls) •God of travel, commerce, boundaries, theft and trickery (God that was worshipped from the thieves and bandits, and try to trick people) •Messenger to the gods (Called quicksilver because he was fast) •Important myths: Births, Invention of Lyre( by killing and gutting a Tortoise), Killing of Argus (Monster with 100 hundreds, watcher of 1 of Zeus’s lovers) •Worshipped as a Herm at crossroads and even doorways •Zeus had an affair with a star, and Hermes was born.
Pan •Son of Hermes •Hoofs and legs of a goat with human features •The god’s name is likely from Indo-European root meaning “to feed” (cf Pasture) •The inspiration for later representations of the devil Hephaetus, God of Smiths •Lame smith god- highly skilled and ingenious •2 versions of his birth: Born from Hera alone (b/c of Athena) or son of Zeus and Hera •2 versions of expulsion from Olympus: Zeus threw him off for taking Hera’s side in an argument(landed on Lemnos); or Hera threw him from Olympus in disgust (Hephaetus’ golden throne of revenge and his subsequent return to Olympus) •Typhoeus’s jailer in Mt.
Etna •Husband of Aphrodite (Ares & Aphrodite trapped in bed) “Hateful” Ares (God of War) Aphrodite, Artemis, and Athena Sept 24 •Aphrodite “Of the Golden Daughty” •Goddess of Love •Born from sea-foam (ophros)- Hesiod (Roman: Venus •Always accompanied by Eros (Winged boy with bow and arrows or flaming torch) Also Himmeros= desire and the Graces) •Only Athena, Artemis and Hestia (Virgins for life, did not want to endeavor into Aphrodite’s powers) were immune to Aphrodite’s powers •Not originally Greek (cf. Eastern fertility goddesses, Inanna, Ishstar, Astarte)- Cyprus (transit point) “Cypris” & “Cythera”.
Cyprus is the doorway between the East and the west •Temple prostitution (Corinth & Cythera) Important Myths •Birth (theogony) •Hermaphroditus (fused with Nymph Salmacis, became both genders by fusing with him) •Priapus (Dionysus or Hermes)- Boned •Aphrodite & Ares-Boned •Aphrodite & Anchises (Aeneas; lone survivor of the Trojan War)-Boned Artemis Potnia Theron •Mistress of Animals •Not a Greek Name- earlier (possibly as far back as the Paleolithic Period) •Twin sister of Apollo (Roman: Diana) •Virgin goddess, but alluring (dangerous) •Huntress (bow and arrows, deer) •“Struck by the arrows of Artemis”.
•Scared animals include the bear – (Braurania ritual and the Arktoi- “little bear”) Important Myths •Iphigenia (Sacrifice) Daughter of the great Greek general •Niobe (Boast about having more kids than Leto) Leto ask Apollo and Artemis to honor •Orion (constellation) tried to rape Artemis and Artemis put a scorpion on his head and he died. •Actaeon (Human Sacrifice? ) Turned into a Stagg because he saw Artemis nude. Then Actaeon’s dogs killed him Athena “Mistress of the City” •Takes her name from the city of Athens ( Not the other way around) •Roman: Minerva •Associated with the owl (owl-eyed).
•Often represented with the helmet, shield and spear, wears the Aegis around her shoulders •Goddess of war (justified, defensive, strategic) •Goddess of domestic crafts ( especially weaving) Important Myths •Birth •Contest with Poseidon • BIRTH OF ERICHTHONIUS (1ST KING OF ATHENS) HEPHATUS JIZZED ON ATHENA’S HIPS AND SHE wiped it off and she threw it off the ground on Athens and spawned the legendary king Erichthonius, he was snaky because he spawned in the earth •Arachne (Athena turned her in a spider) She weaved something that made fun of the gods. Athena slashed her face. She then committed suicide.
Athena felt sorry for her suicide and turned her into a spider September 26, 2013 Demeter •Meter means “mother”, De- unknown meaning •Greek Goddess most closely associated with the great mother-goddess •Goddess of grain and the harvest •Story of Demeter and Persephone comes from the Homeric Hymn to Demeter •Close association between the female, the underworld and the cyclical nature of existence •Demeter’s daughter by Zeus is Persephone, also known as Kore—Daughter or girl •D. and P. are often called “the two Demeters” or “the two goddesses”.
The rape of Persephone •Persephone is taken to the underworld with Zeus’s permission- cf.marriage in ancient Greece •Persephone picked flowers as Hades arose from the depths to abduct her •Only Hecate and Helius heard her cries •Finally, Demeter heard her daughter’s cries and searched the entire earth for her Demeter’s Search •Nobody mortal or immortal would tell Demeter what happened •She wandered the earth for nine days with torches in her hands •Refused to eat ambrosia or drink nectar and did not bathe •Hecate finally told Demeter part of the story and then Helius filled in the rest •In disguise, Demeter left Olympus and descended to the towns and cities of men where
she eventually came to Eleusis (Town outside Athens, center of the Eleusinian Mysteries) The Eleusinian Mysteries •At Eleusis, Demeter rested at the “Well of the Maiden” where she was approached by the daughters of Eleusis’ king Celeus •They asked where she was from and offered her hospitality •They hired Demeter as a nanny to their mother, Metaneira’s child, Demophoon •Lambe tries to entertain Demeter by telling her dirty jokes •Metaneira offered Demeter, Kykeon, as barley-drink •Demeter tried to repay their kindness by making Demophoon immortal. (Demeter would take the baby and put him in the fire, burning away his mortality).
•Eventually, Celeus decreed a glorious temple be built in honor of Demeter. Tough Times for Humanity •In anger over her daughter’s abduction, Demeter withdrew all agriculture from the earth •Zeus demanded that Demeter relent but she refused. •Zeus sent Hermes to Hades to convince him to release Persephone and he agreed (etiological myth re: seasons). The Epic of Gilgamesh and Heroic Myth Oct 1 •Legends are stories about exceptional humans doing exceptional things which are said to narrate episodes from the human past- heroes.
•Heroes were noble or well-born, originally living and breathing people-Homeric kings and warriors. •Eventually these great individuals came to be worshipped as powers dwelling beneath the earth •The name of places of the individual’s cult where they were worshipped, were called Heroa •Heroa were often huge earthen mounds visible on the landscape for great distances eg Achilles at Troy’s Pelops at Olympia and Aenea’s near Rome. The Epic of Gilgamesh and the Heroic Pattern •Few ancient cultures produced heroic myths; however the Mesopotamians and Greeks did •The Epic of Gilgamesh greatly influenced later Greek heroic myth(movement of ideas from the East to West in Archaic period)
•Gilgamesh was a real man who rules the Sumerian City of Uruk c 2600 B. C. E (cuneiform lists of kings) evidence that heroes likely lived at one time. •This influence on Greek heroic myth is shown by shared motifs: Shared Motifs •One of the hero’s parents may be divine (eg Gilgamesh) but he is like all humans, destined to die. •Miraculous or unusual birth of which we know little (Part is missing from the Epic Gilgamesh) •Hero is outstanding in his strength and is a menace to those around him, friend, and foe alike. •Hero has a male companion (Enkidu created by the gods from clay to temper Gilgamesh’s spirit)
•Hero falls under enemy power and is forced to complete impossible tasks (eg. Kills Humbaba) •Taboo broken by hero, terrible price demanded (Enlil the storm-god was angry that Gilgamesh and Enkidu killed Humbaba) •Hero resists the temptations of a dangerous woman (Ishtar asks her father Anu to send Bull of Heaven) •Hero responsible for friend’s death (Enkidu dies after he and Gilgamesh kill Bull of Heaven – cf. Patroclus & Achilles) •Hero goes on a quest to defeat death; even traveling to the underworld (Gilgamesh travels across the waters of death to see Utnapushtim (cf. Ziusudra, Atrahasis, Noah, Deucallion)
•Has help of gods, spirits, or magical objects (Gilgamesh magical stilts/poles) •Hero returns home, atones for his misdeeds and accepts his mortality (after failing twice to achieve immortality- unable to stay awake for 7 days, loss of prickly herb at the bottom of the sea) •Hero given a great reward (Gilgamesh honored by people of Uruk) •Hero given a great funeral and may become a god (Gilgamesh given a fine funeral and his memory will never die) Rationalism and Allegory •THEAGENES (6TH CENTURY B. C. E) THEORIZED THAT BATTLES BETWEEN THE GODS REPRESENTED clashes between natural elements (e. g in the Lliad 20.54ff Apollo (representing fire) fights Poseidon (water)
•Cronus is identified with time ( Cronos)- all things are begotten by time and devoured by it as well, just like Cronus’s children. Because of this false etymology, we still envision Father of time as the grim-reaper (with sickle) on account of Cronus’s castration of his father •Another false-etymological example stems of Hera sounding like the Latin word for “air”, “Air” lay just beneath the upper-atmosphere. Or “aether” ie. Jupiter/Zeus lays just about Juno/Hera. Historical Allegory •Euhemerism: myths reveals a historical truth (Euhermerus wrote of a golden column inscribed with the names with early human kings)
•The conflicts between Uranus, Cronus and Zeus were representative of palace intrigues •During his reign Zeus traveled the earth teaching the arts of civilization, banning cannibalism, and founding temples. Died on Crete after a long life •Gods may have been kings and heroes of real men who founded cities and did great deeds. Moral Allegory •The interpretation that a myth is a system of advice on good and bad behavior •Eg. Daphine was an example of chastity and Harpies who steal men’s food are really prostitutes who ruin men with their fees.
•When Paris gives his famous judgment, he is really choosing between 3 kinds of life: active (Hera), contemplative (Athena), amorous (Aphrodite) which all men must choose. Perseus and the Myths of the Argive Plain •Rich Bronze Age area •Tiryns- Perseus was the king of Tiryns when he founded Mycenae •Argos not important in the Bronze Age, but is often confused in the myth with the Mycenae which was The Wanderings of Io •The River god Inachus and Melia- parents of Io •Io – ancestor of 3 great dynasties: the houses of Argos, Crete & Thebes •Zeus’s passion and Hera’s jealousy (spots mysterious clouds)
•The “cow”, Hera took her and takes the cow puts a monster to watch her, so Zeus doesn’t see her again •Argus (Hundred Eyes) •Hermes (Argeiphontes; Killer of Argus) •Ionian Sea, Byzantium- the Bosporus “cow-missing”, the Caucasus Mountains(Meets Prometheus; things will get better), Egypt (Regains human form) •Gives birth to Epaphus “he who has been touched” Crimes of the Danaids •Epaphus + Memphis (name of the ancient Egyptian capital, daughter of the Nilus the Nile River)= Libya (country west of the Nile river in North Africa) •Libya + Poseidon are parents of •Agenor (Ancestor to the houses of Crete and Thebes)(Arabia)
•Belus (ancestor of Perseus & Royal house of Argo, means “lord” in Semitic language)(Libya) Crimes of the Danaids •Aegyptus has 50 sons •Danaus has 50 daughters= the Danaids •They flee to Argos to prevent proposed marriages (feared a takeover of Libya) •The sons of Aegyptus eventually marry to Danaids…. (Danaus gives all his daughters daggers to kill every husband) •Only Hypermnestra spared her husband Lynceus- “all but one” motif •All the daughters/Sisters were doomed on the underworld, they had to fill a jar that would never fill The Legends of Perseus Danae and the Shower of Gold •Lynceus (the one sparred) in Argos after Danaus.
•His sons Abas has twins ( hate each other-quarreled in womb cf. Jacob & Esau and Isis, Osiris & Seth) •Acrisius has a daughter, Danae but wants sons (Heirs) •Oracles say that Danae will have a son, but that he will kill his grandfather (Acrisius) (Forbidden to Marry- prohibition) •Acrisius builds underground bronze chamber to imprison Danae (folktake; Seclusion) •Zeus “shower of gold” impregnates her (Folktale motif: violation of prohibition. Heroic motif: extraordinary birth) •Perseus and Danae set adrift in a wooden box (folktake motif: threat of death) •Dictys (“netman”) at Seriphos saves Danae and Perseus (folktale motif: liberation).
•Dicty’s brother Polydectes (“much-receiver”, the king of Seriphos) demands Danae’s hand in marriage •Perseus tricked into going on a quest for the head of a Gorgon: he had no horse as a wedding gift for Polydecates- Perseus boasts “I will bring anything, else Polydecates wants, even a Gorgon’s head (Heroic motif: hero falls under enemy power and is forces to complete impossible tasks) Perseus, the Gorgon Slayer •Gorgons: •Stheno •Euryale •Medusa (The only mortal Gorgon) •Instructions from Athena: find the Graeae “grey-haired women” and learn whereabouts of helpful Nymphs (grabs eye, demands answers – “where are they”).
•Perseus receives magical objects from the Nymphs: Hade’s cap of invisibility, winged sandals; special pouch. Hermes also provides a sword and a polished bronze shield (Heroic motif: has the help of the gods, spirits, or magical objects) The killing of Medusa •Uses shield as a mirror to avoid the gaze of the Gorgons, sneaks up on Medusa and cuts off her head •From the body of Medusa, who was at the time pregnant by Poseidon •Pegasus (Later tamed by Bellerophon) •Chrysaor •Puts his head in pouch, flies off with winged sandals with the Stheno and Euryale in pursuit (can’t see him with the cap of invisibility).
•Perseus free’s his mother by showing the Medusa’s head to Polydecates Perseus and Andromeda •A variant has Perseus returning to Seriphos after a few adventures •Came to Joppa (near Modern Tel Aviv) ruled by Cepheus •Cepheus’s daughter, Andromeda, is about to be sacrificed to a sea monster, because of a rash boast by her mother, Cassiopeia (more beautiful than the Nereids) •Perseus given Andromeda’s hand in marriage and the kingdom for having freed her •Phineus (Cepheus’s brother) to whom Andromeda has been betrothed, bursts in a banquet in Honor of Perseus and is turned into stone with his men by the head of Medusa.
•Perseus stays in the East for a year and gives birth to Perses, ancestor to the Persian people. The Death of Acrisius •Wanting to meet his grandfather Perseus returns to Argos •Acrisius flees (it is fated that Perseus will kill him) •At a sports contest in Thessaly, Perseus accidentally kills him with a stray discus (Motif: heroes can be a threat to civil society, even without meaning harm) •Ashamed to receive the kingdom from his death grandfather, Perseus trades Argos for Tiryns with Megapenthes (cousin) •Perseus also builds Mycenae (rules, begets dynasty) and lives there with Andromeda for many years.
At their deaths, Athena placed them among the stars as constellations, remembered forever. Heracles Oct 8 •Herakles Alexikakos (Wards off evil) •Obscure origins- Argive plain? (Eurystheus) or Thebes? (Birth place). Belong to all Greeks •Associated with an earlier time – club, bow & arrows •Excessive (Heroic) •Shaman figure- “Master of Animals” provided food and protection to his people •Heraclids (Dorians/Spartans) •Perseus’s granddaughter is Alcmena, wife of Amphitryon •While Amphitryon (H’s stepdad) was off fighting pirates, Zeus disguised himself as Amphitryon.
•As Zeus leaves, the real Amphitryon appears •In his way, Alcmena gave birth to a child of Zeus (Herakles) and of Amphitryon (Iphicles) •HERA IS NOT HAPPY… (TRICKS ZEUS INTO SWEARING HIS 1ST OFFSPRING BORN THAT DAY WOULD RULE. Hera’s delay tactics- Eurystheus (Perseus’s descendent, Heracle’s cousin) born before Herakles. •Received an aristocratic education (wrestling, archery, warfare, playing lyre… Kills Linus for telling Herakles that he is bad at playing the lyre (poor linus) •Herakles sent away to tend cattle in the mountains cf. cattle of Geryon- Herakles as master of animals.
•Hunted a lion (Ravaging flocks) for king Thespius of Thespaie by day, stayed at his house by night (50 daughters-Heraclids, sons of Heracles, founded the noble family of the Spartans) •Herakles marries Megara daughter of Creon (King of Thebes) and has 3 children •Goes mad and kills his family (driven insane by Hera; he believes that they are his enemies) •Went to Delphi to learn what he must do to atone for his crime- must leave Thebes, go to Argive plain serve Eurystheus (Herakle’s cousin, king of Mycenae) •12 Labors •Miasma is that his blood is tainted and his blood his contagious.
( blood guilt) Must be purified by a God. •12 LABORS. 1ST LABOR, FACES A MONSTROUS LION; SKIN THAT IS IMPENETRABLE. NEMEAN LION. Wrestles with the lion and kills him. Use’s the lion’s claws to skin the lion. Wears the skin •2ND HERAKLE SLAYS THE HYDRA (OFFSPRING OF TYPHEOUS; GAEA) SIMILAR SITUATION WHERE THEY overcome the older generation. Herakle has help from his nephew, kills the Hydra by having his nephew torch the heads of which he cuts off, so they do not grow back. Hydra’s blood is poisonous, arrows dipped in it.
•3RD HERAKLES AND ATHENA WAS TO CAPTURE THE GOLDEN HIND OF CERYNEIA WHO IS SCARED TOArtemis. By taking the stag when it was asleep. Told Artemis on the way back that he had to. •4TH TOLD TO RETRIEVE THE GIRDLE OF HIPPOLYTA FROM THE AMAZONS. IT IS TO EXERT SEXUAL dominances. •5TH HERAKLES TOLD TO BRING THE ERYMANTHIAN BOAR TO EURYSETHUS WHO HIDES IN PITHOS.
(Eurysethus is scared and builds himself a jar to hide from) •6th Mares of Diomedes 4 man eating horses who were owned by Diomedes. In the end he fed Diomedes to his mares because the mares kill his favored companion Abderus •7TH TRIPLE BODY GERYAN, THE CATTLE’S WHERE HE KILLED GERYAN AND HIS BROTHER WHO GUARDED the cattle.
Eurytheus sacrificed the cattle to Hera. •8TH APPLES OF HESPERIDES (WEDDING GIVES TO HERA WHEN SHE MARRIED ZEUS) THESE APPLES ARE immortal. They are grown on the edge of the world. Atlas taunt’s Herakle’s with the Apples of the Hesperides. Herakles took the world on his shoulder. Atlas gets the apples, Herakle’s trick Atlas by telling Atlas to hold the world while Herakle’s adjust his neck. Atlas takes the world, and Herakle takes the apples from him. •9TH CERBERUS IS HADE’S HOUND OF HELL. HE MAKE SURE YOU NEVER LEAVE HELL. DRAGS BACK THE hounds of hell •10TH AUGEAN STABLES; CLEANSES THE AUGEAN.
IT IS A BIG STABLE, STABLE OF 1000 DIVINE CATTLE’S that poop a lot. Re-routed a couple of rivers and flush the stables out. •11TH HERCULES WAS TO DRIVE AWAY AN ENORMOUS FLOCK OF BIRDS WHICH GATHERED AT A LAKE NEAR the town of Stymphalos. Hercules had no idea how to drive the huge gathering of birds away.
The goddess Athena came to his aid, providing a pair of bronze krotala, noisemaking clappers similar to castanets. These were no ordinary noisemakers. They had been made by an immortal craftsman, Hephaistos, the god of the forge. •12TH LABOR; HERCULES EASILY DISPOSED OF THE CRETAN BULL. BRINGS THE BULL BACK TO EURYTHEUS.
King Midas was to sacrifice whatever animal that the Poseidon sent. The god sent a bull so beautiful that he couldn’t. Made the bull rampage all over Crete and made Midas’s wife fall in love with it, making the Minotaur. He put the Minotaur in the labyrinths, feed’s him with the prisoners of Athens. After the Labors •Wished to merry Lole, daughter of Eurytus, a local king. He refused remembering Megara’s fate •Eurytus discovers 12 prize mares missing, sends Son to question Herakles- son is killed (violate of Xenia) •Herakles goes to Delphi to find out how to atone for crimes, Pythia refuses to respond.
•Herakle steals tripod runs off and boasts that he will establish his own oracle! •Apollo prescribe 3 years as a woman’s slave (Omphale the Lydian queen) •Afterwards marries Deianaira “man killer” •Tricked by the centaur Nessus; told that his blood and semen would make potent love potion to use on Heracles. •The blood is poisoned by the Hydra blood used to kill him •Undergoes Apotheosis (became a god of Olympus) after his mortal self is killed by the poison •Hercale marries Hebe (personification of youth) after ascending to Olympus Oct 10 Athens and Theseus.