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Lecture

CLA204H5 Lecture Notes - Papyrus 74, Semonides Of Amorgos, Pythian Games


Department
Classics
Course Code
CLA204H5
Professor
Mariapia Pietropaolo

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CLA204
Lecture 1:
Classical Myth: ancient greek/ rome
Mythology is the study of myths. Myth comes from the greek word “muthos” meaning a story or a
narrative. A story with characters which a divine, semi-divine, royalty or king set in a setting unrelated to
human chronology (real [mountains]/unreal[underworld] settings). They are traditional. Myths have
anonymous authors, but sources are not anonymous. No one source is a true and real source. Keeps
changing, not consistent. Answers fundamental questions, rationalizing, and differences in rationalizing
causes the differences in the stories.
- Myths have explanatory power, etiological myths (how the elephant lost is trunk).
Oedipus: slept with the mom and had kids without the knowledge
Narcissist: falls in love with his own reflection
Atlas titans, carried the whole world on his shoulders.
Fire is considered divine, why is it on earth. A titan stole it and brought it down.
Minotaur caused when the queen slept with a bull.
Hesiod early archaic period. Contemporary of homer (Trojan war, earlier time of bronze age time, even
though he was in a steel age)
- Wrote in greek, wrote two poems theogony and works&days
- Theogony means origin of gods, the word itself means theos = god & gonia = beginning.
- His gods make up the cosmos (cosmo ordered universe, cosmogony- be gotten) x
- House of muses
- 7th hundred BC, he writes about things long time ago before that.
Cla 204
Lecture 2: January 10th, 2012
Hesoid Life and Works
Father originally from Cyme (in Aeolia)
o Moved to Ascra (near Mt helicon)
H. fell out with brother (perses) over inheritance from the works and days
Works of art (Poems):
o Theogony
o Works and days

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o Catalogue of women
Perses was a singing poet
He composed a poem concerning divine the rise of Zeus
o And on farming (works and days) when to farm
Theogony and Cosmogony
o T the origins of the gods
Theos (‘god’) + gonia (‘begetting’)
o C: the origins of the universe
Cosmos (ordered universes) + gonia
Roman Mosaic of the 9 Muses
o They are the daughters of Zeus and Memory (this is important because it is oral poetry)
o One of the Muses is called Rania
o Head Muse she will be the muse of the high epic poetry this puts her before everyone
because of the genre of poetry
o Successive myth a natural consequence of the Gods of the family
There are 4 main generations of the gods:
Chaos . chasm, gaia/ earth, Tartarus, Eros
The titans, children of Gaia and Ouranos/ Sky
The Olympians, children of Cronus and Rhea
The children of the Olympians
The successive myth almost seems like a goal to explain Zeus’s supremacy – his
role
His purpose is setting the pieces of the divine machinery he does this by
breaking this up like hympns or episodic elaborations (there not full on myths
but snippets)
Gaia sleeps with her own son
Covers the earth male physical power as he doesn’t let his kids come out of
the earth so she divises a plan (female cunning) she makes a plan to make the
kids attack the sky and only Cronus takes up on it and you have more male
physical power (first intergenerational strife) the older generation resists being
thrown
This seperation needs to happen later on at the ends of the poem, Atlas holds
the sky up he is identified
o The Birth of Aphrodite
There are different accounts of her birth (Zeuss is her father is one of them)
The castration from above causes separation and it is brought from deceit and
treachery
The destructive power of sexual attraction is a central theme in Greek myth to
produce this monster
o Cronus likes to suppress the next generation lets his kids be born and then swallows
them this is another example of tension between the generations. Rhea protects the
kid by giving her a stone and Zeuss survives and makes Cronus cough up his siblings
o The omphalos (the stone) the belly button
o The Olympians defeat the titans - this lasted 10 years
Zeuss becomes king after he gets help from Cyclopse
Although he is king he faces challenges Gaia wakes up the giants (the
gigantocomy a long bloody battle where zeuss side wins)

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So Gaia gives birth to monsters (typhon)
o Both battles plotted by females fought by males
o Zeuss has to worry about his succession and his overthrow and so he swallows the
mother ( )* while she is pregnant and he does this on the advice of Gaia and
o The birth of Athena she is born from zeus forehead when it is split in half
o Chaos keeps kids inside the earth
o Cronus inside him
o Zeus keeps everyone inside him
The other Olympians
o Athena extremely powerful celebate
The transfer of power is used thru violence each generation wants power and is eventually
overthrown until Zeus stops this
Male strength vs. female cunning
Apollo
o This is basically a handbook of explanations a valuable source for myths
Lecture 3: January 16, 2012
The rape of persephanie
o Does not have a stable home in the Olympics
o Chthonic earth having connections with the underworld (she has a double role)
doesn’t have a home in olympics because Haiti takes her away and so she has to stay in
the underworld
o She is very popular in art
There are two basic interpretations
o This story is an allegory of Greek marriage the patriarchal marriage is by the father
the girl does not have much say Demeanor is not consulted. Immediate transition from
childhood Stephanie is playing with flowers one minute and then married in another
house
o 2. This is an etiology of
o tries to make him immortal and sticks him in the fire and gets interrupted by the mother
when she sees her putting the baby in the fire. Demeanor reveals she is a god and
demands a temple built which becomes a cult worship place
The promise of regeneration through Demeanor* Mystery cults Hiera (the sacred things) that
were worshipped. Any Greek speaker could get into these cults
The cult was popular because it advocated no doctrine and promised a happy life after
These gods were objects of veneration myths are tales and religion is a belief and course of
action that follows from this belief
Myths can justify a religious practice and you can tell a myth without getting religious
An ancient religion gods didn’t make the world they just dwell in it (Chaos was first) didn’t
have all the power
o They didn’t impose codes on people – they liked sacrifices from people
o Gods depended on these sacrifices when Demeanor takes the grain they get scared
that all these famines will not let them get sacrifices
o They have distinct personalities these gods as they are always misbehaving
Homeric hymns
o Named towards homer as they sounded like homer
o They were written in greek
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