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Lecture 2

Clas 201: Lecture 2 Notes

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University of Waterloo
Classical Studies
CLAS 201
Nicholas Maes

NO CLASS NEXT WEEK! Minoans come from the island of crete -gave a writing system (Linear A) -contributed to religion (cathonic vs. Olympian) Indo-european = originated in turkey or Ukraine Micinean = 1 greek population -have an extensive trade network Homer is a fictional representative of the Trojan War -an educational foundation for a population that didn’t have anything -Homeric values were viewed as core Greek values -his poems were considered epic poetry (not romance or comedy; always very serious – ex. war) Homer’s poems were only a fraction of the epic cycle -only ones that are in full form are the Iliad and Odyssey (most complete form) -cypria (poem) = goes back to the origins of the war -greeks have an anthropomorphic religion (gods are like us; except gods live forever and are extremely powerful) -there was a time when Zeus wasn’t the king of heaven -he turns on his advisor Prometheus b/c Prometheus treats humans nicely and steals fire from the gods and gives it to humans; since Prometheus stole it, Zeus punishes him by tying him to a post and an eagle feels on him everyday (and everyday he regenerates for the eagle to eat him again) -Prometheus tells Zeus to avoid a sea goddess named Thetis b/c if Zeus were to sleep with Thetis, he would lose his throne to the son -the wedding of Thesis and Peleus: Eris couldn’t come (goddess of strife) -2 types of strife: 1 that causes you to get into fights with people around you, and 1 that causes you to compete with others (the source of all competition) -Eris crashes the party and brings a golden apple and rolls it to the feet of Athena (wisdom), Hera (motherhood), and Aphrodite (lust/sex) -inscribed on the apple is “for the fairest” -the 3 start arguing saying that they each deserve it and can’t determine who it belongs to, so they turn to ask Zeus who is the fairest (so he needs to find a way to please them all) -he decides to put the choice on someone else, Paris (the son of Priam, King of Troy) -the 3 goddesses bribed Paris to give them the golden apple (Athena says he will be the wisest man alive, Hera says he will be a King of whatever city he wants, Aphrodite says he will have sex with the most beautiful woman alive); so Paris chose Aphrodite -Aphrodite becomes his life-long ally -Paris decides to fight the husband (Menelaus) of the wife he slept with (instead of having the Greeks and Trojans all fight); Menelaus dies, but not at the hand of Paris -Just as Menelaus is about to kill Paris, Aphrodite intervenes and whisks him off to safety, and the war is over -Hera hates the Trojans because of Paris and tells Zeus that he can kill any of the cities she loved, as long as she has dibs on Troy -most beautiful woman in the world = Helen of Troy -when Aphrodite promises Helen of Troy to Paris, the problem is she’s married -she is supernaturally pretty – not quite like other women (other worldly) - Tyndareus (her father) was faced with a problem when she turned 12-13 when all these Heroes were knocking on his door asking to marry Helen (saying yes to one means saying no to everyone else, and they might gang up and burn his estate) -they promise they will abide by Tyndareus’ rules and they will work together to help retrieve Helen from whoever steals her from her husband - Tyndareus gives Helen to Menelaus (he is connected to Agamemnon – King of Mycena) -Menelaus goes with Helen to their new home and Paris goes to visit and Aphrodite causes Helen to fall in love with Paris and they both leave -when Menelaus comes home and sees they’re gone, he tells Agamemnon and all the men that made the oath (this is how the Trojan war starts) -women were always quiet and kept in the dark, so why did they go to war over this? -Xenia = hospitality -if someone is foreign, you would take them in, feed them, shelter them for the night, give them a present, and send them off the next day -Zeus would punish you if you violate the rules of hospitality (ex. if you murdered your guest in his sleep); chief god takes this under his responsibility -Paris violated Xenia by sleeping with Menelaus’ wife (Helen) when Menelaus welcomed him in -it was expected that people were treated with mercy in war when they surrendered (instead of killing them when they are wounded or helpless, take them prisoner) -Zeus Horkios = obeying the rules of oaths/promises (swear an oath in the presence of the Zeus) -ex. loans, peace treaties, etc. -Paris violated divine law and bad things are expected to happen to him -Zeus can’t just go after Paris b/c other people that are involved are also at fault (Trojan war gives Zeus an opportunity to punish Paris, and address all the other things he needs to address) -Iliad starts in the 10 year of the war and ends on a climactic note (but not the end of the war!) -Troy can’t be taken b/c it’s too strong; they
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