CLAS 104 Lecture 1: Classical Mythology Extra Notes

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Classical Mythology
Introduction/Historical Background (pg. 40-60)
Heinrich Schliemann
oConfirmed wealth and grandeur of the cities Troy, Mycenae, and Tiryns
Sir Arthur Evans
oFound palace of Minos in Crete
Neolithic inhabitants came from east to north
The Bronze Age (Minoan age)
oStarted when there was migration from the east
Built the Minoan civilization of Crete
King Minos and the Minoan Civilization
oPalace at Cnossus
Grand and proven to be the center of civilization at the time
Ruled over Athens until 1400 BC where destruction was brought to Cnossus
Power shifted back to mainland Greece
Earth quakes are theorized to attribute to the loss of power of the civilization
oHad religious beliefs regarding fertility mother goddess
The Mycenaean Age
oIndo-Europeans who invaded the mainland
oFirst Greeks who worshiped Zeus
Troy and the Trojan War
oHisarlik was the site of Troy
oTroy I settled in Early Bronze Age
oTroy was a site of honor and glory to the Greeks
oTroy VI-VIIA were the City of Priam
oTroy VI was bigger than any other find in western Asia minor
oSolar eclipse from an excerpt from the Odyssey matches the time of a solar eclipse
discovered
oTroy was a fortified city with a citadel in the center where officials and Priam would have
lived
oFortifications, ditch around the city, and inhabited city around the citadel
oTroy was at a location very favorable to guard the straight into the Mediterranean sea
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oThey could have trafficked and even tolled passing ships so Trojan war may have been
caused by economic reasons
End of the Mycenaean Age
oDestruction of Troy VII marked the close end of the Bronze Age and into the Iron Age
oTheorized that Dorians invaded from north and east
No certainty
Timeline of Historical Events
oFall of troy 1184 BC
o1100-800BC Dorian invasion (Iliad and the Odyssey)
o480 BC Persians sack Athens
o447-438 BC Parthenon built
o323 BC Death of Alexander the Great
Interpretation (pg. 3-39)
A myth is a story that was conveyed orally then transcribed later
oA myth also can be depicted through artistic means
A myth is usually concerned with human and god relationship
Saga/legend has roots with historical facts
Folk and Fairytales
oFor entertainment
oFantastical being
oFairytales usually have magical content with tales of high moral
Etiology is the study of myths being interpreted as an explication of the origin of some fact or custom
oA way to express facts using myths that cannot be otherwise explained
oi.e. where the earth and sun came from
Euhemerism is the metaphorical interpretation of stories
There was a theory that all deities were explanation of meteorological and cosmological phenomena
Continue from page 8 when you have the will power
Myths of Creation (pg. 61-83)
Hesiod
oClaims he was blessed with the Muses so his word was true
oChaos (the void) came first
oGaia, Tartarus, and Eros came next (maybe out of Chaos not clear)
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Gaia was mother earth
Tartarus was a place deep in the depths of earth
Eros was “the most beautiful of all immortal gods” Love
oErebus and Dark Night came out of Chaos
oEros
Love or cupid to the romans
Was seen as the Protogonus (first born and first created)
The mingling of the rest of the elements resulted in the birth of the gods
oMarriage of Uranus (Sky) and Gaia (Earth)
Gaia brought forth Uranus who was equally mighty as her
It couple of the first generation
oTitans and their descendants: Ocean, Sun, Moon, and Dawn
12 Titans: Oceanus, Coeus, Crius, Hyperion, Iapetus, Theia, Rhea, Themis,
Mnemosyne, Phoebe, Tethys, and Cronus
6 males 6 females
Oceanus and the Oceanids
Oceanus + Tethys made Oceanids and 3000 daughters and sons
oRiverspirits, waters, and springs
Hyperion and Helius: Gods of the Sun
Hyperion + Theia made Helius, Selene, and Eos
Helius is also a sun-god
Drives chariot from east to west into the stream of Oceanus
Phaethon, Son of Helius
People challenged him and said he was not son of Helius
He meets Helius who grants him a wish
Phaethon asks for him to drive the chariot
Flew too close to heavens and earth, inexperienced
oZeus shot him down with a thunderbolt
Libya became a desert and Ethiopians became dark skinned
oBurnt
Selene, Goddess of the Moon, and Endymion
Drives a 2 horse chariot
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