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Lecture 10

CLA204H5 Lecture Notes - Lecture 10: Phrixus, Eteocles, Epigoni


Department
Classics
Course Code
CLA204H5
Professor
Mariapia Pietropaolo
Lecture
10

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Lecture 10 CLA204 March 13th
Myths of Thebes
Myth is not literature in an of its self. Literature uses myths
- Our experience is through literature, but these those don’t tell the story the same ways as the
myth
- Myths don’t have authors
- How myths are used and how they are preserved depends on the author that uses it
- Literature uses myth : factor of how myths are changed and the way they are told
- The accounts of the myths have authors
Double foundation of the Thebes
Europa and the Bull
- Zeus seduces europra in the form of a beautiful bull
- Europa is put on the display for the audiences gaze
- Europa and the bull sail off to Crete
- Her brother is the founder of Thebes
- Cadmus is her brother
- The oracle tells him to follow the cow
- Cadmus brings the alphabet with him
- When the cow choses the place, Cadmes has to defeat the dragon and has to sow the teeth.
- Warriors come up and start to fight with each other
- This is the foundation story with the dragon slayer. Cadmus marries Hadmonia
- The men that grow from the teeth fight each other
- Thebes is unique has 2 separate foundation stories
- 2nd foundation story: Myth of the twins : Amphion (plays a Lyar) and Zethus
- Their parents are Zeus and Antopi
- They have complete opposite natures
- These twins are best friends
- Zethus: man of action / hunter/ herdsman
- Power of art and music reveals itself when they need to build the walls of thebes
- Amphion calls the rocks (what the walls are built with) with his music
- The two of them ruled in Harmony
- Amphion married Niobe
- This story is kind of a folk tale. They have been abondonaned and adopted by someone else.
- Rome is also foundation story of twins. Romulus and Remus of Rome hate each other bitterly.
- Story 1: dragon slayer story 2: folktale of the twins
- How are these stories put together?
o Cadmus (dragon slayer) found the higher city.

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Lecture 10 CLA204 March 13th
o Cadmea city (after its founder)
o The twins built the walls around (the lower city). They have 7 different gates
o Ovid is the buyer
Starts with Cadmus
And the other myths are disasters
Actaeon
- He is a Hunter
- He is punished accidently seeing what he shouldn’t
- He is a Theban
- He is hunting
- And he is on a break and looks for a shade.
- Diana (Godess of hunting) is naked and Acteaon sees her bathing
- Diane is a virgin. By being seen as a mortal man she takes it as a rape
- She splashes water on him and turns him into a deer with long horns
- So she punishes him. He becomes a hunten stag. He is hunted by his own pack of dogs.
Pentheus
- His birth place is Thebes
- In relation to seeing and knowing
- Another case where he sees something hes not supposed to see
- Dionysus ( God of grape and harvest) lured Pentheus to spy on the Bacchis rites disguised as a
woman
- He is torn apart by his own mother (agada) and his sister
- His mother thinks she sees a wild animal
This tearing apart something....whether it is an animal or human is called SPARAGMOS
o Ancient Dionysus ritual
o Animal or human were be sacrifice by having them torn apart
- Thinking you are seeing when that is not the case: these will continue throughout all of the
myths
Birth of Bacchus (a.k.a Dionysus) Ovid metamorphese
- In Ovids account it is clear that Juno (Hera) drives the plot
- Juno is angry because Zeus slept with semele
- Semele is preg
- In disguise, as an old nurse she convinces Semele and asks jupitor to appear to her in all his
glory as God, the way he appeared to Juno when they were making love
- He vowed on the river Styx to give her anything she wanted, and when she made her request he
could do nothing but fulfill it despite its fateful consequences
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