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CLAS 1000 Lecture Notes - Franchthi Cave, Timoleon, Homeric Question

Classical Studies
Course Code
CLAS 1000
John Walsh

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CLAS 1000 11/01/2012
Greeks said that the landscape influences people. They had mountains, valleys and their
communities were isolated.
Franchthi Cave
Earliest known archaeological landscape known to have Greeks inhabits it. Neolithic
19th century?? The Bronze age divided the Greek
European explorers looked for bronze to find if what Homers books and Homers
tales were true.
Arthur Evans was a British archaeologist who searched for Crete and thought he
found it.
Crete was a complex building maze like complexity which showed that the
civilizations were very advances.
He thought he found King of Crete Minos.
Zeus and Europa
750 BC did not have writing so they would tell stories.
Zeus reflected the behaviour of Greek men. He had a great lust for women.
He had numerous affairs with women from earth.
He seduced and abducted princesses Europa which was a normal behaviour for
men in a patriarchal society. He turns into a White Bull and takes her away to the
island of Crete
Greek gods frequently meddles into humans lives and interacted with them
contrary to Christian gods.
Europa became the first queen of Crete.
Zeus and Leda, Zeus and Danae, Zeus and Ganymede
Zeus had a child with Leda named Helen by turning into a swan and seducing her.
Danae was locked up in a tower by her father to preserve her virginity.
Ganymede was a young boy abducted by Zeus. Greek men did not limit their
sexual encounters to women.
Families would give their younger boys (around 12 yrs old) to older men ( 20-30
yrs old) who would show them how to live in society and how to be men. That
was normal.
Greeks would have Hermes outsides of their houses that would ward off strangers
and that had a scripture on it.

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Allegoric representation; Greek went though a dark age which causes them to become an
illiterate society. They managed to write a script with the help of the more advanced
society Venecia and brought it into Crete. This is probably how the story of Europa came
about seeing how she was from the eastern end of the mediteranien sea Venecia where
Europa lived.
Zeus and Europa had a child named Minos who wanted to become ruler of
Crete so he bargains Poseidon to become ruler of Crete.
Poseidon agreed as long as Minos gave Poseidon his best bull, hid prize bull.
Minos becomes guilty of having too much pride and greed so he switched the
Poseidon finds out and punishes him. He makes it to that Minos’ wife
[Pasiphae] falls in love with Minos’ prize bull; the bull that he loved so much,
enough to not respect the gods.
Zooaphilia- love of an animal theoretically.
Pasiphae consults Daedalus who was Minos’ chief engineer and creates a cow
costume so she can seduce the bull and have sex with the bull and they have a
child which was the Minotaur.
One mans sin (Minos not respecting the Poseidon) can become another mans
sin (the spell on Pasiphae which led to the birth of the Minotaur). People who
were deformed were not acceptable.
The Minotaur got trapped in a maze/labyrinth which was constructed by
Daedalus and his son Icarus.
CLAS 1000 13/01/2012
The Iliad
1. Establish the cultural and mythical context later periods of Greek history.
2. Identify the role of the Iliad in shaping the Greek character
3. Use mythological ‘history’ to bride the Greek and Roman world
Homer wrote the Iliad but history is not sure whether or not Homer
actually existed and if he was just simply a figure. Homer was more of a
trend of writing.
The Homeric Question
Who was he?
Where did he live
Method of recoding these poems
What are they about
AD 110, Byzantium
Fragments of papyri

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The legend of a blind poet
The Greeks believed that Homer was a real person. Homer shaped Greek culture. Plato
says that Homer educated the Greeks.
Wedding of Peleus and Thetis
The Greek mind believed that women were the root of evil
The ten year war the Trojan war was started because of a women
Zeus was worried about one of his children taking his throne
Zeus fell in love with a Nymph and he was going to marry her but he got a
prophecy that the child of Thetis will be grader this his father
So Zeus would marry Thetis off too Peleus a peasant
Eris doesn’t get invited to the wedding and she was goddesses of road rage
She brought a golden apple to the wedding – kalliste (for the most beautiful)
Hera ( wife of Zeus), Athena ( goddess of warfare) and Aphrodite (goddess of
He makes Paris who is in exile determine which of the three goddesses are the
most beautiful and they all come down to earth and parade around.
Hera offers political wisdom
Athena offers him unbeatable on the battle field
Aphrodite offers him the most beautiful women in the world – he chose Leda
Helen was the daughter of Leda( who took form of the swan) and Zeus who was
already married
She was doomed to a life of misery and her beauty was her curse because she had
been abducted many times in her life.
Helen of Sparta shot with one of cupids arrows and she fell in love with Paris
Helen is the face that launched a 1000 ships
Paris of Troy
Menelaus king of Sparta
Agamemnon - Menelaus brother and leader of the expedition
Achilles is filled with grief when he finds out Patroclus is dead. He becomes
angry and enraged. It is only then where he goes back on the battlefield. He goes
against Hector.
Patroclus was Achilles great companion and he disguises himself as Achilles with
his armour and everything and joins the war. He runs up against Hector and gets
The book the Iliad picked up in the tenth war. It beings with an argument between
Agamemnon and Achilles. They are fighting over Briseis who belonged to
Achilles as a prize but Agamemnon wanted her so he took her. So Achilles didn’t
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