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Lecture 18

CLAS 203 Lecture Notes - Lecture 18: Athamas, Maenad, Thiasus

Course Code
CLAS 203
Margaret Palczynski

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CLAS203 Lecture 18 Notes
Abduction of Persephone by Hades where the ground rips open, a black chariot
snatches Persephone and takes her away. Persephone vanishes and Demeter leaves all
her fertility tasks while searching for her daughter all over the world. While Demeter
rests at a well (in a disguise as an old women), the daughters of a king from a nearby
palace offer Demeter to go back with them to their home. While at the palace, the
queen (Metaneira) hire Demeter to be the nurse for her newborn son (Demophon).
While Demeter tends to Demophoon, she grants him the gift of immortality by holding
him over a fire (requires more than one treatment).
Eleusis: Metaneira, Demophoon, Triptolemus
o Gift of agriculture taught to Triptolemus
o Triptolemus was often seeing in a winged chariot, given by Persephone to spread
the gift of agriculture
o Lyncus, king of the Scythians refused gift and so was turned into a lynx
Eleusinian Mysteries
o Lesser: yearly; greater: every 5 years
o Mystai, Telesterion, Anakteron
o Pan-Hellenic (open to all Greek speakers without blood guilt)
o Secret; penalty for revealing mysteries: death
o Lasted until 396 AD
Often known as Bacchus (Roman)
o Cadmus marries Harmonia; have many children. One of them, Semele, is the only
mortal who has a child with Zeus who becomes an Olympian
o Son of Agenor, king of Tyre
o King of Thebes
o Eastern ties (Thrace, Phrygia)
o Late introduction into Greece?
o Portrayed as strange and foreign god
o Other seen with a satyr
o Oriental dress (long robes)
o Often seen with a long beard, agriculture/vegetation around him, and is carrying
a drinking horn
o Dionysus comes into contact with his worshippers moreso then any other gods
o Myth motifs:
Travels not always welcomed back into Greece because he was not
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