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Lecture 4

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Lecture: CREATION OF HUMANS Human Origins: – No single authoritative version – Several stories about creation – Many parallels with Near-Eastern traditions. Common Themes: – Two frequent patterns: + Humans grow from earth (an idea inspired from agriculture) Rocks thrown by Deucalion and Pyrrha + Humans moulded from earth/clay by creator-god (an idea inspired by pottery) Biblical account: God moulds Adam from earth – Divine elements: seed, breath;;; + Biblical account: spirit of God breathed into earth + Ovid: divine spirit mixed with clay – Blood;;; + Blood of Kingu, rebel god, threat to Marduk, partner of Tiamat + Blood of the giants, sent against Zeus by Gaea – Common origin of humans and gods + Used to live together + State of being was close to divine – Separation from the gods result of some fault/sin + The forbidden apple + The tricks of Prometheus The Main Greek Tales of Creation: – Prometheus and Pandora – The Ages of Man – Deucalion and Pyrrha Prometheus: – “fore-learner” (his brother is Epimetheus, “after learner”) – Inventor and creator of many things: + In Aeschylus' play, responsible for just about all human culture – Creator and defender of humans + Ovid: Prometheus fashioned man from earth and water – Folktale motif: trickster + Compare Cronus, Zeus, and Hermes – Son of Lapetus (who was son of Gaea and Uranus) – Titan, but sided with Zeus in Titanomachy – Prometheus tricks Zeus in the division of meat + Zeus's punishment: takes fire away from man; gives man toil + Prometheus steals divine fire in a fennel stalk and gives it to man – Zeus's punishments: + Prometheus chained to a rock; an eagle eats his liver + Humans are given troubles; illness, sorrow and women – Prometheus eventually freed by Heracles + Zeus allows the liberation because... + Prometheus reveals a secret prophecy; Thetis (Zeus's favourite) will bear a son more powerful than his father + Recall: threat of succession Pandora: – Name: “all-gifted” – Haphaestus gives her form, strength, voice – Athens: womanly skills, clothing, hair – Aphrodite: desirability, ability to afflict pains of love – Hermes: deceit – Graces and Persuasion: jewellery – Seasons: wreath of flowers – In spire of Prometheus's warning, Epimetheus accepts the divine gift – Pandora open a jar given by the gods, releasing all kinds of troubles, unknown before + Hope remains. – Woman bringer of ills + Compare biblical account of Adam and Eve – Woman has separate origin from man + A separate race Ages of Man: – General pattern: decline from original near-divine, ideal state, to current condition of misery – Bible: from Eden to Earth – Indian tradition: from gold to iron age – Horace (pg 115) – Ovid: four ages, each worse tha
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