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Lecture

March 6 Notes.docx

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Department
Classics
Course
CLASS102
Professor
Craig Taylor
Semester
Winter

Description
CLASSICS 102 Lecture Notes March 6 MORTALS AND DEATH - early writiers thought it was better to be dead than alive. - everyone at the mercy of the fates. HOMERIC VIEW: human condition full of sadness & pity Achilles, for instance, his life is full of grief and misery. even complains about being dead. HERODOTUS VIEW: "call no one happy until he is dead" > father of history. in one of his tales he says that^ SOLON & CORESUS tale by Herodotus. Croesus, a King in Turkey. where the saying rich as croesus comes from. seen as richest individual at the time. Solon was the Athenian who rewrote the athenian constitution, making more democratic. after he wrote it he traveled around. Croesus gives Solon tour of his palace to show off all teh wealth. after the tour he asked Solon who he thinks is the happiest person you've ever seen? Solon doesn't say Croesus, but TELLUS - an athenian with many children who all survived, had a prosperous life, died gloriously in battle, athenians buried and honoured him. so croesus is like, who's the second happiest?: CLEOBIS & BITON - arviges, very strong individuals. they worke din teh field all day and came home. they found out their mom wanted to go to the festival of hera in the city of argos. they don't have any ox so they put her in a cart and towed their mother there. they get there and are celebrated. then they go to the temple and pray to hera, go to bed, and die. solon says that they were super happy. Croesus was pissed he wasn't the one and solon said you have to wait till you die to know. but creosus kingdom is overthrown by the persians and his son Atys is killed and he is made a slave and he is like, oh, solon was right. HADES KING OF THE UNDERWORLD epithets "Zeus Katachthonius" underground zeus "Polyxenos" host to many "Polydegmon" receiver of many *cause everyone goes to hades, and branch off from there roman version: PLUTO we will look at three versions of the underworld: HOMER'S ODYSSEY (the book of the dead) 7C BCE PLATO'S REPUBLIC, plato invents the myth of Er about a soldier who dies and comes back to life and describes his experiences. 4C BCE VIRGIL'S AENEID, the story of aeneus founding rome, goes to the underworld for a pep talk from his dad. 1C BCE underworld referred to as: HADES TARTARUS - can refer to region of torment in hades EREBUS - can refer to region of torment in hades ELYSIUM or ELYSIAN FIELDS - region of paradise 3 JUDGES in the underworld: King MINOS, RHADAMANTHYS, AEACUS 5 RIVERS ● Styx (river of hate) * ● Lethe (river of forgetfulness) * ● Acheron (of woe) ● Cocytus (of wailing) ● Phlegethon (of fire) *most important HADES / PLUTO is king PERSEPHONE queen CHARON ferryman of souls HERMES guides souls to underworld CERBERUS hound of hell guards entrance to realm of dead, stops living people from getting in and dead folk from escaping the importance of a proper burial: if you didnt have a coin to pay charon to take you across the river styx, you would wander as one of the RESTLESS DEAD in the world of the living, plaguing humans. people buried little voodoo dolls with curses written on the box with people they didn't think would make it, cursing their neighbours and such. people killed young or violently (murdered) were thought to probably not make it across the river. VERSION 1 ODYSSEY odysseus is trying to get home after the trojan war he is staying with witch named CIRCE and needs to go talk to TIRESIUS in the underworld to know his future. she says go to the land of Cimmerians, dig a pit, make some sacrifices, pour some libations to the dead, and after doing so, spirits will rise from the underworld and you should be able to find tiresius. he also brings a chalice of blood, and for the ghosts to have a conversation with him they need to drink the blood. he does all this and the souls start swirling out of the pit he carefully gaurds his cup cause he doesn't wanna waste it on th eother spirits. as he stands there, he sees a lot of people he knows. he sees his homie ELPENOR who recently died so he could speak. he says please go back and bury me. very concerned he won't make it into the underworld. bury my body in full armour. he sees his mom, who he didn't know was dead. ANTICLEA. he tries to hug her but she passes through him. she doesn't recognize cause she hasnt drink the blood. TIRESIAS finally pops up and he gives him the blood. he asks him how long will it take him to get home. he says 8 years and when you get back you'll have to kill some people. he instructs odysseus on his future. after hearing his future he gives left over blood to his mom who says she died of a broken heart, AGAMEMNON leader of greeks who apparently got home from the war and was killed by his wife who was sleeping with someone else. talks to others, including ACHILLES - "I should prefer as a slave to serve another man... than to rule over these dead." he also sees his greek rival, frenemy, named AJAX who doesn't wanna speak to odysseus. ajax killed himself. refuses to speak. also sees KING MINOS who is down there judging the transgressions of the recently deceased.he sees some of the traditional sufferers: TANTALUS who killed his son, PELOPS, and served him as a sacrifice meal to the gods, TITYUS tried to violate leto so he gets liver eaten everyday, PHANTOM HERACLES the mortal part of heracles, SISYPHUS a corinthian who tried to cheat death saying to wife, Merope (not the same as step mom of Oedipus, wife of Polybus), please dont bury me i dont wanna go to hades he tries to trick death, an old weakened man who must push a rock up a hill eterally to have it roll back right before the precipice. when he is dead he gets persephone to let him go to earth to scold his wife for burying wrong. sysiphus doesn't return. hades goes and drags sisyphus back to the underworld. to the greeks, whoever tried to cheat death was a problem, the dead were trying to suck the life from the living. the boulder is in scorching heat of tartarus. hades is the one that humans most try to trick and deceive. there are other versions of why sysiphus is punished. traditional sufferers often depicted on vases TANTALOS punishment food and water always just at his fingertips TITYUS punishment getting his liver eaten out by a vulture SISYPHUS punishmnent pushing boulder up the hill PROBLEMS WITH THE HOMERIC ACCOUNT is this description the conception of one person or many? this was probably told around 1200 bce, so 400 years of changes between when it was finally written down. probably a combination of ideas BOOD OF THE DEAD also gives insight into some kind of CULT OF THE DEAD, used for consulting the dead, maybe wiht the pit and blood formula. - throughout the description, constant importance of burying the dead properly. there are some CONFLICTING parts to this description. if spirits coming up to see him? how does he see some of the torments? HOMERIC HADES everyone went to the same place there was a special location for sinners. spirits drift aimlessly after you die if you were good, in the underworld you pursue the same passions as in life. darkness apathy depression hopelesness burials - otheriwse limbo, unrest. no indication how long in homer. IMAGES OF HADES often with Persphone surrounded by sufferers the greatest of all heroes make it to the underworld while living and make it back living. PLATO'S MYTH OF ER Er - dead soldier, dies in battle they were preparing to properly bury him. on the twelvth day he comes back to life and tells everyone experiences in the underworld. we get plato's idea of the underworld after you die, everyone goes to a place called the PLAIN OF JUDGEMENT, where four openings were located: two up and two down. one like an exit, one like an entrance, for each direction respectively. judges deciding the fate of the newly deceased about whether they were going up or down. people were not just going but returning. the ones coming from below were dirty and grimy and didn't look so good. those returning from up above were shiny and looking good. he also overheard the souls comparing with each other how it is up and down. 1000 years reward (ten times over from every good deed / bad deed) BREAK--------------------------- sins that get you down below to hellish region: ● ENSLAVELEMNT OF CITIES ● BETRAYAL OF ARMIES ● HUBRIS ● LACK OF RESPECT FOR PARENTS ● MURDER Pretty indiciative of time plato lived you can be so bad that you can go to the ETERNAL HELL. gives example of a tyrant named ARDIAEUS THE GREAT. description of the hellish region: "roaring mouth" "full of suffering" guards that reside there to keep you there also SHAME you constantly, talking about your sins. then after you serve your time, you return to the plain of judgement, where you spend seven days. then you head off on another journey, the journey towards the light. the light that BINDS THE UNIVERSE TOGETHER. er gets to tag along. when they get there, er sees that this is where the fates reside, spinning measuring and cutting the wool. when the souls get to the light, they draw lots. this determines the number they will get to pick in as the souls are layed out in front of them with the life they will live. er notices some people pick wicked lives, some pick good lives. plato is teaching that there is wisdom in making good choices. plato believes that those who experienced suffering would make wiser selections for their next life. SUFFERING TEACHES BETTER, same with living life. Those trained in suffering would make better choices for their next life. once you choose, the Fates ratify the choices. some examples of the lives chosen: ● odysseus chooses the quiet life of an old man because during his life he fought troy for ten years then journeyed home for ten years. ● orpheus chooses the life of a swan. explaining that he did not want to be born by women cause women kill him. ● he also touches on agamemnon and some other choices. then they go to Lethe where they get a drink of water, which causes them to forget their previous life. Er can't drink cause he needs to report back. Plato uses this whole thing as an allegory and lesson. VIRGIL'S AENEID roman version 1st Century BC ANCHISES AND HIS SON AENEAS aeneas has to go talk to his dead dad cause he can't find anywhere that people will let him stay, and he needs to find the place to establish the new city of troy. the book is somethign of a propaganda peice written for the first emperor of rome, julius caesar, who claims descent from the gods. aeseas goes to sanctuary site of Cumae to hire a sibyl named Sibyl to guide him around the underworld. she says he needs the GOLDEN BOUGH of Persephone (like a ticket), and you need to properly bury your friend Misenus. then they can go to underworld. virgil's description is most detailed GEOGRAPHY front door: full of evil and monsters after getting through, sees an elm with empty dreams clinging to leaves then river acheron, stream of cocytus, marshes of the styx. when they get to the marshes they run into CHARON, ferryman. there is a crowd of souls in front of him. those properly buried are paying their way. those not buried right are stuck there. Aeneas notices an unproperly buried souls, his friend PALINURUS who fell overboard, swam to italy, killed by italians. laying on the beach dead. stuck in limbo at least a hundred years they go to charon and he's like i'm sick of living people coming down here forcing their way across the river, like heracles, and theseus and pirithous (buddies). they pull out the golden bough and he is like oh cool hop on board they run into cerberus, sibyl gives it a drugged cake and it falls asleep and they go by. aeneas notices some other souls hanging around the other side of the marshes: unjustly condemned, babies, young he then sees judge KING MINOS hearing cases of new dead. after hearing htem he sends to hell or elysium etc next he sees an area for people who killed themselves. then they pass the FIELDS OF MOURNIGN, filled with females, where all the jilted unhappy lovers reside: DIDO, PHAEDRA, PROCRIS, PASIPHAE. dido is aeneas
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