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Classical Mythology 2.3.docx

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Lisa Trentin

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Meet the Olympians The Olympians - The first 5 Olympians are children of Cronus and Rhea o Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Hestia, and Zeus o Hades is not considered an Olympian because he does not live in Mount Olympus - From the genitals of Uranus (or child of Zeus) o Aphrodite - Other 6 Olympians are children of Zeus and Hera o Apollo, Artemis, Athena, Hephaestus, Ares, and Hermes - Later, Dionysus replaced Hestia - The “divine family” is actually dysfunctional - Mount Olympus is the tallest mountain in Greece, so it is the closest peek to the cosmos Zeus, Father of Gods and Men - Lord of the sky – particularly the weather - Thunderbolt = his weapons of choice o Religion – Greeks erected shrines to Zeus where lightning struck - Bull/eagle = his special animals o Religion – Greeks ritually sacrificed the bull to Zeus - Aegis or “goat skin” – magical object that inspired terror – in art, shield with snake- headed tassels - Zeus also presided over law and justice – xenia (hospitality and generosity to people who are far from home) - The statue of Zeus at Olympia was considered one of the wonders of the ancient world Poseidon, Lord of the Deep - Lord of the sea – traveled across the sea in a chariot drawn by horses or sea-monsters - He also possesses powers over the movement of the earth (earthquake) - Trident = his weapon of choice o Wherever he stuck his trident, a spring burst forth - Horses = his special animal o Religion – horses were drown in sacrifice to Poseidon - Married to Amphitrite, a Nereid = son Triton, merman - Father to Cyclops Polyphemus, flying horse Pegasus Hades, King of the Dead - Lord of the dead – the underworld - Helped by Cherberus, three-headed dog, who guards the gates of Hades - Sometimes called Pluto – the “enricher” because he helps with the rebirth of people - Helmet – made him invisible = his weapon of choice - Married to Persephone = no children Lovers of Zeus - Zeus is notorious for his sexual relationships with women and boys - Function and meaning of sexual exploits in myth o Entertainment o Moral story o Sexual metaphor - Reception of Zeus’s relationships via art was hugely popular; had an impact on popularity of Zeus’s mythology today - Zeus + Metis = Athena - Zeus + Thetis = Horae and Moerae - Zeus + Eurynome = Graces - Zeus + Mnemosyne = Muses - Zeus + Dione = Aphrodite - Zeus + Demeter = Persephone - Zeus + Leto = Apollo and Artemis Hera, Queen of Heaven - Goddess of marriage and women’s fertility - She plays an important role in protecting the family o Never addressed in religious cult as “Mother” or represented with child
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