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Classics 102 Lecture January 29th.docx

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John Harris

th Classics 102 Lecture January 29 Between a Rock… • Syclla o 2 version of myth  Daughter of sea-god Phorcys • Poseidon tries to seduce her o Amphitrite transforms her into monster, potion o Lower half: ringed with raging dogs o Becomes one of the terrors of mariners, sea adventurers o Ovid’s Metamorphoses  Glaucus (fisherman, transformed into sea god) falls in love with Scylla (rejects his advances) • Asks sorceress Circe (in the Odyssey is a lover to Odysseus) for aid (a love potion) o Circe loves Glaucus, transforms Scylla into monster o Scylla’s Hangout  Straits of Messina (between Sicily and Italy) o Scylla could represent a giant squid (The Kraken) …And a Hard Place • Charybdis o Daughter of Poseidon and Gaia • Became voracious whirlpool • Sucks down and spews up water 3X/day • Located in straits of Messina • Caught between Scylla and Charybdis o Odysseus decided to go toward Scylla instead of Charybdis, lost a bunch of men Athena • Wields spear and helmet • Part of the Aegis The Strange Conception and Birth of Aphrodite • Athena (Minerva) o Homeric Hymn to Athena and Hesiod’s Theogony  Zeus impregnates Metis (Wisdom) • Destined to bear son to overthrow father o Zeus swallows Metis  Zeus gives birth to Athena via his head • Variants o Hephaestus helps by splitting Zeus’ skull o Athena lets out mighty war cry  Birth of Athena depicted • E. pediment of Parthenon Patron Deity of Athens • Possible historical origins o Name likely derived from city of Athens  Rather than vice versa • But no convincing Greek etymology • Pre-Hellenic goddess o Goddess of fresh water?  Epithet Tritogeneia o Union of indigenous goddess and daughter of I-E sky god? o Originally Minoan snake goddess? • Mentioned in Linear B tablets o During Mycenaean age: protector of the city  Acropolis = “high city” Athena Goddess of Savoir-Faire (“Know How”) • Wisdom o Latin name Minerva  Connected with Latin “Mens” = mind • Cf. Zeus swallowing of Metis (“Wisdom”) o Spinning and weaving  Primary role of women in ancient Greek society  Becomes patron of spinning and weaving o Craftsmen  Carpentry (behind building of Trojan Horse) o War  In its strategic aspect (cf. Ares) • Born fully armed  Patron deity of many heroes (e.g. O
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