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CLAS104 Lecture Notes - Serah, Hekatonkheires, Epicureanism

Classical Studies
Course Code
Ronald Kroeker

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CLAS 104 -2 - CHAPTER 3
May 8, 2012
I. Variety of Accounts
A. Philosophical
Natural Philosophers (6th -5th B.C.) give a natural instead of mythological explanation of the
world; E.g.: Thales everything is made of water
Epicureans (Ca 300 BC) kind of atheistic in a way that they said there are no divine God or
Mind behind the world’s creation; World is created through a cosmo ship
o Homer: Oceanus (the river that surrounds the whole world) and Tethys
o Ovid: eclectic Ovid is the most important Roman source of Grece-Roman mythology
II. HESIOD’S ACCOUNT – the standard among Greek writing;
* 2 works: 1. Theogony comes from greek word meaning, the creation of the Gods; 2. Works
and Days
A. Background Issues
Inspiration: the muses (Goddesses who gave poetic inspiration): the truth? In contrast to other
versions? Divine insight into reality
Purpose: a.) Origins b.) praise gods, esp. Zeus c.) Justify political realities
SERACH THE ONES ABOVE!!! (Background Issues)
B. Account of Creation
Primeval elements: (gods) chaos (a gap or emptiness), earth (gaia/ge), tartarus (under world),
eros (a god who represents a particular force such as sexual desire)
o Priority of Chaos??
1st generation of Gods: Earth and heaven (Gaia and Ouranos);
o Asexually, Gaia produces Heaven, mountains and Sea (pontos);
First, he produces Ouranos who becomes his mate
o Sexually, Gaia (with Ouranos) produces 12 Titans (12 titans are 6 males and 6 females,
they are the first fully Anthromorphic Gods in other words, God that look like humans),
Cyclopes (3 Cyclopes) , Hecatonchires (Hundred-Handers; giant powerful figures)
2nd Generation of Gods: Dominated by the Titans
o Oceanus and Tethys are titans and God of the sea; they produce together 3,000
Oceanids (female babies) and 3,000 rivers
o Hyperion and Theia Hyperion is often thought as God of the Sun and Theia is a
feminine name for the word God; They produces the god of sky
E.g.: Helius (Son of the sun is called Sun), Selene (Moon), Eos (Dawn
o Cronus and Rhea produce the next generation of Gods, Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Hera,
Hestia, Demeter
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