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Greek and Roman Studies
GRST 209
James Hume

- classical mythology and literature - myth o many modern prejudices o not pejorative o mythos means utterance o mythology- mythos + logos o logos – word/spoken- has come to mean a study of something- “ology” - G.S. Kirk- he says: etymology of a word is a traditional point of departure for understanding mythology, but in this case, an unhelpful one o Mythos meant a tale for the Greeks – a statement, a story, a plot, a play, etc. o Word can be confusing in English o For Plato, the first known user of the word mutholigia (mythology) meant no more than the telling of stories- in the case of greek myths, the system was established at a relatively late stage by people like Homer and Hesiod, etc. - Plato said most of the myths taught should be discarded- included those from Homer and Hesiod- their chief and most serious fault is that of not telling a lie well o Get rid of the dangerous myths o Plato is the source of our prejudice about myths as a lie o Untrue and unlovely o Chief fault is not that they are lies, but that they are not told well- there are good lies- lies told for good reasons, myths are not this quite often o Plato agrees though you cannot be a human being without story o He says, the greatest of all lies, and a bad lie too, is what Hesiod said Ouranos did, and how Cronus retaliated, and the sufferings which in turn Cronus’son inflicted on him  Cronus’s son is Zeus - Freud thought myth was useful- reveal true states of affairs- like Oedipus myth/Electra myth o Carl Jung thinks myths help us confront our fears and come through them in a healthy way - Hesiod said: we know how to tell many falsehoods that seem like truths but we also know… how to utter the absolute truth o Prof says this is a puzzle o If it moves you/teaches you something then that is what counts - READ: From Choas to Cosmos- The World before Zeus- pt 1 section 3- pg. 58-79 o (especially 59, 62, 69-72) Jan 14/13 - theme today is the question of cosmos- “From Chaos to Cosmos” - disorder to a notion of cosmos- cosmos is the Greek word for beauty, order, (think cosmetic, it comes from this root) - we cant understand a chaotic universe, must categorize - theogony: genealogy of a group/system of gods - Herodotus- wrote Histories- 15 century? o The origin of the gods, or whether they have existed always, and what their visible forms are, the Greeks did not know until yesterday or the day before, so to speak…” o We didn’t always know this, it took a text (not necessarily a sacred text) - Hesiod begins in Theogony: “Very first of all Chaos came into being o Chaos means something like void, emptiness, nothing o Chaos is the thing out of which everything else will come, including the Gods themselves o The Gods somehow sprung force out of chaos- without mother/father - Primordial Gods (check chart) o Ge/Gaia- Earth  Hesiod described: wide-bosomed, secure foundation of all forever  She can also turn on you in the moment  Sometimes she is a mother, sometimes she is the enemy  Has two children by herself, Uranus (heaven- he is equal to Gaia) Mountains, Pontus (sea)  and The Twelve Titans with Uranus (heaven)- six girls and six boys • it is possible Hesiod invented some of these names in order to get to the number 12 • perhaps goes back to number of months in year- 12 apostles as well… 12! • Son Ocean is not same as the offspring Pontus (sea)- something about boundaries ? • God Hyperion- later myth makes him the father of Helius (sun god)- marries Theia (his sister) • Iapetus- later on father to Prometheus • Rhea and Cronus- bro and sis- most important of the titans- become brother and wife- they will produce the 6 Olympians! (including Zeus) o Gaia and Uranus also produced other offspring that are not the 12 Titans:  Three Cyclopes (means round-eyed) • They are “insolent at heart” • They created and gave to Zeus the thunderbolt • Not beautiful but necessary • Forceful, powerful, skillful  The Three Hecatonchires (means figures w/ 100 hands) • They stand for military might • Violence o Tartarus- Underworld o Eros- Desire, passion  Hesiod described: the most beautiful of all the immortal gods, loosens the limbs and overwhelms judgment and wise counsel in the breast of gods and all humans  No humans w/o procreation- thus eros  Cause of Troy- paris fell in eros with Helen- and the city fell o Erebus- Darkness o Night - Holy marriage- heros gamos- sacred marriages amongst gods are often incestual- brothers/sisters or mother/son (like gaia and Uranus) - Pg 132 of textbook: correction- typo- Phoebe not Thoebe - Fine balance btw chaos and cosmos - Homer said: Ocean and mother Tehtys, the source of the Gods… so perhaps? - Uranus hid his children in the depths of Ge/Gaia and di not allow them to emerge into the light- and he delighted in his wickedness o Hesiod wrote this o Jealous father who did not want to give up power o Stuffs the children back into Gaia’s womb- this causes backlashes- then comes drought, death, etc., he is effecting the cosmos o Gaia is suffering b/c things aren’t going the way they are supposed to o Uranus lays on top of Gaia- insisting on his conjugal rights w/ no attention to the lives of her of his children- his son ambushes him from inside the womb w/ this sickle and castrates his father - Offspring of Gaia (through blood of Uranus’s castration!) o Erinyes, Giants; Meliae,Aphrodite Jan 16/13 - Zeus is the father of kings and men- the creator of the universe - Succession myth as Hesiod gave them to us- Hesiod got it from the Near East- Babylonians- parallels in Hesiod’s account and the Near East o Monsters in form of snake o Father/son issues o Binary opposites of nurturing mother/authoritative father o Carl Jung would have said that these are archetypes that are natural/native in our brains, everyone thinks in these categories, common myth o Castration of the father is one of the succession myth (Gaia and Uranus) o Cronus (son of Uranus) swallowing his children (worried that they will grow up to supplant him) – another succession myth  Great cronus swallowed his children as each one came from the womb to the knees of their holy mother  Does not swallow zeus himself- he swallows zeus’s 5 siblings  Until Reah sought Gaia’s advice and gives Cronus a stone instead of the bb Zeus  The five children are reborn out of cronus’s stomach after he vomits up his 5 children- thus Zeus becomes the eldest even though he was the last one born  Zeus will overcome his father in rule  Our textbook leaves out a detail: zeus set the stone at Pytho, and there zeus installed it in a temple (temple ofApollo at Delphi) – this boulder resembled an outie belly button and it was named after that: Omphalos- set up as a reminder that you cannot keep life from flourishing and also to connect the temple ofApollo at Delphi to the mother figures of the Gods  This stone was considered the center of the universe- the axis mundi o Zeus putting down Cronus and gaining upper hand- third succession myth  Titanomachy- war between the titans and the Olympians- zeus did not hold back his might any longer- came from Olympus- the whole of the land boiled even the ocean  Zeus was supplied his thunderbolts by the cyclopedes  Three part universe was shaken  Everything was at stake- heaven could have come crashing down to earth- vital that zeus wins the war to keep the universe in order  The hundred handers enter the battle on the side of the Olympians  The titans are imprisoned in the underworld – haven’t died because they are Gods, but are imprisoned  When zeus had driven the titans from heaven, vast Gaia brought forth the youngest of her children through the love of Tartarus and the agency of goldenAphrodite  Typhoeus- monstrous figure (snake legs and 50 heads)- now on the day of his birth, an irremediable deed would have been accomplished and typhoeus would have become the ruler of mortals and immortals if the father of the Gods (Zeus) had not taken swift notice • Agreat part of the vast earth was burned by the immense conflagration and melted… and Zeus in his rage hurled Typhoeus into broad Tartarus • Imprisons him as well • Tartarus is as far below earth as heaven is above earth- symmetrical - Maxmuller thought all of Greek myth was about natural phenomena- weather, volcanoes, etc. - Snippet of Near Eastern parallel story: o Hesiod may say he was inspired by the muses, but he may have just heard these stories from travelling o The artwork of the near east o Marduk who carries thunderbolts, destroying a sea monster who represents chaos called Tiamat - Hesiod was an underdog – lost his inheritance to his greedy brother- his life reflects his worldview and his stories - The four or five ages- history has been divided into periods- you find this motif in the bible and in other Near Eastern literature- they get worse and worse- opposite of succession myth- it is believed that Hesiod added the 5 humans were basically different in each stage o The Golden age- like the garden of Eden – Cronus was king in heaven (whereas he was the nasty tyrant in the other myth)- even in death they become guardian spirits to the succeeding generation- they lived as Gods on earth o The Silver age- those who have their home on Olympus next made a second race- far worse than the one of Gold- Then in his anger, Zeus, the son of Cronus, hid them away because they did not give the blessed gods their due- arrogant, they refuse to worship the gods- aren’t as smart as the Golden age people o The Bronze age- men went to war with one another, they were terrible and mighty because of their spears- when they had been destroyed by their own hands they went down into the dark house of Hades (new name of Tartarus- named after the Olympian who now governs it), they left the bright light of the sun o The IronAge (present age)- the Gods give us difficult troubles, and any good we get is mingled with evil, Zeus will destroy this race- whenever we come out of the womb already looking old- that is a sign of the end to come. When a fathers and sons are at war  Pg. 88: when the end comes, this is how it will happen: envy with evil delight, then idos (shame) and nemesis (goddess of retribution/vengeance) who have kept us from destroying ourselves. These two will eventually leave us to our own devices and to evil - So why does Hesiod stick in the 5 age- btw Bronze and Iron age- theAge of Heroes o But when the earth covered over the bronze race, Zeus made still another; the fourth… a godlike race of heroic men, who are called demigods, and who preceded our own race o Aperiod marked by warfare, but in the hands of heroes, war is what is needed o Oh would that I were not a man of the 5 Age but either had died before had been born later – Hesiod o - this was a shame culture Jan 21/13 Prometheus - altnernative creation story- Prometheus - he cares for us because he is our creator? - Hesiod as a mythographer- making them mean something - Every ancient culture has a myth of a trickster- this is Prometheus inAncient Greece - Throws wrenches into the plans of the gods - Sometimes his stories are humorous - He never entirely succeeds in overthrowing authority - The gods take in stride his jokes and tricks - In the hands of Hesiod it is a cautionary tale though - In the end though, it is just not possible to get past Zeus - Iapetus led away the girl Clymene, an Oceanid… and she bore him a child, stout- hearted Atlas, she also brought forth Menoetius… and devious and clever Prometheus, and Epimetheus o Atlas means Patience  “Atlas stands and holds the wide heaven with his head and tireless hands through the force of necessity” - hesiod o Menoetius means impatience o Prometheus means forethought o Epimetheus means afterthough  He was the one who accepted Pandora - “at the edge of the earth, and in the sight of the clear-voiced Hesperides” o hesperides are the daughters of Hesper (evening) they dwell where the sun sets in the far west o Atlas watches over these daughters of the evening - “and Zeus bound devious and wily Prometheus with hard and inescapable bonds… and roused up a long winged eagle against him that used to eat our his immortal liver” – Hesiod o his liver grows back every day so the torture is endless o in the pic of this, there is a bird behind Prometheus as well as a bird behind him, also stars on the globe ofAtlas, and the serpent is shorthand for the far west- for the island of the Hesperides o Prometheus can foresee- has forethought- thus he has sight further than Zeus himself! o “Heracles… killed the bird and ride the son of Iapetus from this evil plague… not against the will of Olympian Zeus” – Hesiod o Hesiod finally gets around the explaining what this is all about…  “When the Gods and mortals quarreled at Mecone, then Prometheus with quick intelligence divided up a great ox and set the pieces out in an attempt the deceive the mind of Zeus.” – Hesiod • etiological myth- a myth that explains something, a strange feature or custom of life • bones and fat are for the gods • “for this reason the races of human beings on earth burn the white bones for the immortals on the sacrificial altars” – Hesiod - “Then the good son of Iapetus, Prometheus, stole fire for human beings from wise Zeus in a hollow reed, without Zeus who delights in thunder seeing it.” – Hesiod - “listen to the troubles that there were among mortals and how I gave them a sense and mind, which they did not have before…” –Aeschylus, Prometheus o “see what I, a god, suffer at the hands of the gods.”Aeschylus, Prometheus o parallels to the suffering servant Christ - Hermes is son of Zeus- just as trouble making as Prometheus but he happens to be “the bosses son” - “Scorns and despair, these are mine empire… no change, no pause, no hope. Yet I endure!” Percy Shelley, “Prometheus Unbound” Pandora - even one god cannot undo the action of another god directly - if Prometheus steals fire, Zeus cannot simply steal it back - “immediately Zeus contrived an evil thing for mortals in recompense for the fire” – Hesiod - She is the balance to the gift of fire - “The renowned lame god, Hephaestus, fashioned out of earth the likeness of a modest maiden according to the will of the son of Cronus” – Hesiod - Pandora means “all gifts” - Suggests that before Hesiod got his hands on the story, she was a mother goddess- a fertility goddess - “And Zeus orderedAthena to teach her the skills of weaving.. and golden Aphrodite to shed grace about her head and painful longing…And he commanded the guide Hermes… to put in her the mind of a bitch and the character of a thief.” – Hesiod - her gifts make her beautiful but dangerous because of it - wise, charming, “bitchy” - Hesiod says she will use it to make our lives bad - “And Hermes… named this woman Pandora, because all who have their home son Olympus gave her a gift.” –Hesiod o Prof says this is false etymology - “Previously the races of human beings used to live completely free from evils and hard work and painful diseases… but the woman removed the great cover of the jar (the box) with her hands and scattered the evils within…” – Hesiod - “Hope alone remained within… under the edge of the jar and did not fly out of doors… But the other thousands of sorrows wander among human beings, for the earth and the sear are full of evils.” – Hesiod o what does this mean? Hope and its imprisonment in the jar of Pandora Jan 23/14 The Family of Zeus- The Olympians - go by the artificial number of 12- a canonical number, has been imposed - The 1 Generation (offspring of Kronos (who swallowed his kids) and Rhea) o Zeus o Poseidon- paired withAthena sometimes, both patrons ofAthens o (Hades) o Hera- Paired with Hermes- also Persephone? Look below- diff gens. o Demeter o (Hestia) - The 2 Generation (offspring of Zeus) o Aphrodite- paired with Ares- goddess of love and god of war o Athena o (Persephone) – or Hera, paired with Hermes- o Apollo- paired withArtemis below… both with bow and arrow o Artemis o (Hebe) o Ares- as most hated of gods o (Eileityia) o Hephaestus o Hermes- messenger o (Dionysus) – paired with Demeter- two diff generations- he provides wine, what we drink, and she, what we eat o (Heracles) - The peaks of snowy Olympus resound with the voice of the Muses, and the homes of the immortals” – Hesiod o Mt. Olympus is a real place- twin peaks o North o Home of Gods o This is a common feature of ancient middle eastern theology-a mountain to the north - “Rhea, overpowered by Cronus, bore him glorious children”- Hesiod - “When the blessed gods had… settled by force their struggle for honors with the Titans, at Gaia’s bidding they pressed far-seeing Olympian Zeus to be their king and rule the immortals. And so he dealt out their privileges and rights.” –Hesiod - “When the lots were shaken, I Poseidon won for my portion the grey sea… and Hades won the murky darkness, while Zeus won the broad heaven…” –Homer o compare these two… Homer vs. Hesiod o “when lots were shaken”- this isn’t Zeus in charge, this is fate, destiny, chance even! Important world view distinction – Hesiod sees everything as under the control of Zeus, where Homer sees destiny and fate is really in charge Zeus and his wives/children - “Zeus, king of the gods, made Metis his first wife, who was wisest among gods and mortal men.” – Hesiod o Metis is Greek word for cunning or clever o When Metis was about to bring forthAthena, goddess of wisdom, Zeus deceived her with cunning words and put her in his own belly (in accordance with Gaia)- Zeus is doing exactly the same thing his father Cronus did, but the point is he doesn’t swallow Metis in order to suppress her, but he swallows her as she is pregnant with his first child, and now he will give birth toAthena! o Athena is very much so her fathers daughter, a Goddess of strength, a virgin goddess- she is not a threat to him, she represents his wisdom o “But Zeus himself gave birth from his own head toAthena” –Hesiod o - “Next he married bright Themis, who bore the seasons, Eunomia, Dike, and blooming Eirene…” –Hesiod o Themis is goddess of good order - “And the Moirai… who gave mortal men evil and good to have.” – Jesiod o Moirai is destiny/fate - “And Eurynome, the daughter of Ocean.. bore him three fair-cheeked Charites” – Hesiod - “And he came to the bed of all-nourishing Demeter, and she bore him white- armed Persephone, whomAidoneus carried off from her mother, and wise Zeus gave her to him.” – Hesiod - “And Leto… boreApollo andArtemis delighting in arrows, children lovely above all the Uranians.” – Hesiod o always depicted youthful o Artemis’s fave animal is the stag or deer o Apollo is always crowned with his laurel leaves- god of wisdom, prophecy, harmony o She is goddess of wildlife, the hunt o Bro and sis o Apollo can also turn violent- god of harmony but sometimes that requires being god of vengeance - “Lastly, he made Hera his blossoming wife…” – Hesiod o overtaken by her beauty o they mingle, and flowers and grass sprouted up beneath them o “..She brought forth Hebe,Ares, and Eileithyia” – Hesiod  we do not know what the last name means, perhaps the sound a woman makes in the agony of child birth  Eileithyia is the goddess of childbirth - “But Hera, without mingling in love with Zeus… bore famous Hephaestus, who is skilled in crafts more than all the Uranians.” – Hesiod o Hera was angry with Zeus thus their not mingling o The product of her attempt at having a child alone, Hephaestus, he is clever, but deformed, ugly, a laughing stock o “Zeus grabbed me by the feet and hurled me from the divine threshold.” – Homer  landed in the ocean and didn’t come back for 9 years- how he became lame o “Thetis saved me when I suffered much at the time of my great fall through the will of my own dog-faced mother, who wanted to hide me for being lame.” –Homer  this is kind of different than the quote above, it was still a fall from Olympus down to the earth, but this time it is from his mother who wanted to hide him for being lame, not from Zeus o he is short and stout o “I fell the whole day and landed on Lemnos when the sun was setting..” – Homer, said Hephaestus - The 1 generation of Olympians have beards! Jan 28/13 Athena- Her Father’s Daughter - “Our country… is god-believed. The strife of the gods who contended over her… testifies to the truth of our statement.” – Plato o he meansAthens when he says “our country” o Plato thinks we are high on the list of the concerns of the gods, very different from what Hesiod thinks - Her fathers daughter… Zeus’s daughter - Patroness of Athens-Athens being the principle city-state though much of Greek history- she is patron of most important city of the Greeks - Teaches them how to fight, and also mourning them- time of strife - She came from Zeus’s head - “I begin to sing about Pallas Athena, city-guardian, who withAres is concerned about the deeds of war…” – Homeric Hymn toAthena o protects these people too-including the merchants and all those involved o more than just about war fare (whereas that is pretty much all you can say aboutAres) - she is seen with an aegis- a breast plate/shield covering her - Panatheniac games which were every four years? - “I begin to sing about Pallas Athena, renowned goddess, with bright eyes, quick mind, and inflexible heard, chaste, and mighty virgin, protectress of the city, Tritogeneia. Wise Zeus himself gave birth to her from his holy head…” –Homeric Hymn toAthena o Tritogeneia- not even ancients really knew what this meant, book suggests it means she was born somewhere around lake Triton, or perhaps when she was born - She is one of three virgin deities, do not have children (at least not in the normal sense) - Hermes has a cone hat on his head and winged sandals - Apollo plays the liar (instrument) - Ares has a helmet and shield - Her perpetual virginity- she would not be so securely Zeus’s if she did not remain a virgin - Her sacred bird is the owl- she is owl eyed, bright eyed, perhaps grey eyed - In the coin picture, she is wearing earrings (which is weird for a goddess) o She dresses up, she is larger than one thing, not just on the battle field, more dynamic - “As you enter the temple ofAthena that they name the Parthenon, all the sculptures you see on what is called the eastern pediment refer to the birth of Athena…” –Pausanias o Parthenon means virgin maiden- it is devoted to her - “…the sculptures on the rear pediment represent the contest for the land between Athena and Poseidon.” – Pausanias, Descriptions of Greece - “The gods resolved to take possession of cities in which each of them should receive his own peculiar worship. Poseidon was the first to come toAttica, and with a blow of his trident on the middle for the acropolis, he produced a salt sea… After him cameAthena… who planted an olive tree.” – Pseudo-Apollodorus (not theApollodorus he claims to be, thus pseudo) - She winsAthens, even tho Poseidon gave the salt water spring - “the olive tree was testimony of the goddess…” – Pausanias - Persians were enemies of the Greeks in 5 century BC - 490 BC - apparently when they invaded, the olive tree was burned down, on the same day tho it grew again (a miracle) - Athena and her uncle Poseidon (in the picture of the Vase) o Poseidon is called the God of Horses also… he is said to have been responsible for producing the horses that were so important in war fare, and of courseAthena tames the horses - “Hephaestus, being forsaken byAphrodite, fell in love withAthena, and began to pursue her.” – Ps.Apollodorus o Aphrodite and her extreme Hephaestus (ugly god) were married, but he is forelorn because she is never around, Athena pays him a visit, and he falls in love with her o Begins to pursue her o He intended to embrace her, but she would not submit to him, so he dropped his seed on her- in disgust she wiped it off and then Erichthonius was produced (similar to howAphrodite was produced with the seed of Uranus after castration- unusual means) o Athena’s virginity is technically maintained o She becomes the mother of this early king ofAthens- part snake form o “As she fled and Hephaestus’seed fell on the ground, Erichthonius was produced.” –Ps-Apollodorus o “Having been brought up byAthena herself in the precinct of the Acropolis, Eirchthonius … became king ofAthens.” Ps-Apollodorus o motherly side to the goddess - “If you would fashion an image ofAthena, as Pheidias in his day endeavored to do, you must imagine in your mind armies and cunning, and handicrafts, and how she leapt out of Zeus himself.” Philostratus - “She holds a statue of Nike about four cubits high…” – Pausaniuas - “At her feet lies a shielf and near the spear is a serpent. This serpent would be Erichthonius.” Pausanias o for the Greeks, the serpent was protective, not a bad thing like in the Bible - Concentrate on the last image ofAthena that he shows (may be on test) - He would ask us to comment on the image - The kind of answer he wants is: (using “Athena and Heracles”) o An entertainment scene o The spear, the owl she holds in her hand- belong toAthena- they belong to her in this particular painting in a certain order and collection o For example her helmet is set aside here, not on her head- this isAthena at peace/at rest o She is more than just warfare as we can see here (even a solider takes off his armor at night) o Heracles is seated and being poured a cup of wine o Agoddess pouring wine for a human hero- this is also odd o He sports his famous lion skin- lions head, skinned it and wears it as his o His helmet is on, hers is set aside- gods can take it easy, tho we humans must always be on our guard o His club is resting on the rock, verse her civilized spear (civility vs. wildness) o The rough ston
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