CLA 2323 Lecture Notes - Brindle, Anchises, Sea Monster

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IMPORTANT MYTHS
PROTEUS
The Greek god of the sea who is capable of changing his form at will. The etymological
meaning comes from ‘protean’ something extremely flexible or ever-changing
According to legend, Proteus is the son of Poseidon and Tethys, and his official job is as the
herdsman of Poseidon's seals on the island of Lemnos [often appearing in the form of a bull
seal]. However, he is also capable of seeing into the future, so he is a form of oracle
According to Homer, his abilities came at a price he would only tell the future to someone
who was able to capture and hold him, and his shape-shifting abilities proposed a challenge
He was obliged to tell the truth
THETIS
Thetis was a sea nymph who gave birth to the famous hero Achilles
The gods Zeus and Neptune both desired Thetis, but they did not pursue her because it was
foretold that the son she bore would become greater than his father. So, the gods arranged
for Thetis to marry Peleus a mortal
She did not wish to marry him, and she changed into a sea monster and other forms to
escape Peleus held her until she changed back into a woman and agreed to marry him
Thetis bore him six sons, and she tried to make each one immortal by burning the child in a
fire. She failed each time but tried a different method with her seventh son, Achilles by
dipping him into the River Styx, holding him by his ankle which would be his weakness
She called in favors from Zeus, Hephaestus and Dionysos during the Trojan War
ATHENA
Athena and the Palladium Athena killed her friend Pallas by accident and creates a small
statue in her honor. She names it the Palladium and takes the name Athena Pallas
The Contest with Poseidon Poseidon creates a violent earthquake and a flood, Athena
builds a ship; Poseidon was the god of horses, Athena invented the chariot and the brindle;
Poseidon represents raw energy of elements, Athens channels the energy in peaceful
achievements. Therefore Athena wins, and her name is given to the city state
The Birth of Erichthonios Hephaestus attempts to rape Athena, then Gaia is impregnated
and gives birth to Erichthonios [‘erion’ wool and ‘chthon’ earth]
APHRODITE
The Judgment of Paris During the forced union between Peleus and Thetis, Eris [Eros]
was not invited, and he throws a golden apple to the Earth. Paris finds it, and Athena, Hera
and Aphrodite fight for it, each offering him a prize. He chooses Aphrodite, who promises
him the love of the most beautiful woman Helen of Sparta
Pygmalion and Galatia Pygmalion is repelled by the prostitutes on the island, so he
makes a beautiful sculpture and names it Galatia. He prayed to Aphrodite that the statue
would come to life, and she grants his wish because of his admiration and prayers
Anchises Aphrodite had a love affair with him, which is one of the reasons why she sided
with the Trojans. He boasted about their affair and left Troy to start a new life.
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Document Summary

The greek god of the sea who is capable of changing his form at will. The etymological meaning comes from protean" something extremely flexible or ever-changing. According to legend, proteus is the son of poseidon and tethys, and his official job is as the herdsman of poseidon"s seals on the island of lemnos [often appearing in the form of a bull seal]. However, he is also capable of seeing into the future, so he is a form of oracle. According to homer, his abilities came at a price he would only tell the future to someone who was able to capture and hold him, and his shape-shifting abilities proposed a challenge. He was obliged to tell the truth. Thetis was a sea nymph who gave birth to the famous hero achilles. The gods zeus and neptune both desired thetis, but they did not pursue her because it was foretold that the son she bore would become greater than his father.

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