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Classics Lecture January 24th.docx

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John Harris

th Classics Lecture January 24 “Bent-Legged Hephaestus” • Outcast from Olympus (Twice!) o Hera casts Hephaestus from Olympus  Disgusted at lameness • Homer, Il.  Thetis and Nereids rescue and nurse him • Learns metal-working skills o Zeus tosses Hephaestus  Zeus and Hera fight a lot  Son took mom’s side in dispute  Shows how we can project our human problems onto the gods themselves • Landed on island of Lemnos • Homer, Il. Return of Hephaestus • Hepheastus’ Revenge o Creates golden throne for Hera out of ‘love’  Fine gold mesh to trap her o Only Hephaestus can free her  Refuses to return to Olympus o Enter Dionysus:  Get Hephaestus drunk  Brings him back to Olympus • Frees Hera o Not in any literary account • Hephaestus forges Achilles’ armor Beauty and the Beat • Hephaestus and Aphrodite o Rocky marriage to say the least  Aphrodite has affair with Ares • Venus and Mars • They’re meant to have an affair o Homer’s Odyssey  Book 8 • Immoral content • Humorously recounted • Helius told Hephaestus that Aphro having an affair, Hephaestus told Aphrodite that he was leaving, made a similar thing for her that he did for Hera, bonds Ares and Aphrodite to the bed, brings all the other gods (not goddesses) to look and laugh at them • Ares not phased  Bastard child of Aphrodite and Ares • Eros (Cupid) Ares: God of War • Ares (Mars) (Like Marshall Valor, March)  March was beginning of war season o Historical origins  Obscure • Associated with Thrace o Epithet: “Thracian” o Divine functions  War and violence • Personification of blood lust o Loss of rationality • Cf. Athena o Goddess of War (strategy) • One time in the Iliad Ares gets wounded in battle Promiscuous God • Why so many affairs? o Allegory
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