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Lecture

Classical Mythology 2.7.docx

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Department
Classics
Course
CLA204H5
Professor
Lisa Trentin
Semester
Fall

Description
City-Protecting Gods/ Heroes - In the ancient Greek world cities often had a “city-protecting god or hero” and a myth which told of the beginning of the city, emphasizing features which were thought to be really important - Highlighting positive elements like good order or natural advantages Classical Athens - Classical Athens is renowned today for its achievements in philosophy, literature, and the arts, as well as government structure…. Democracy - C6-C4 Athens was a military super-power and cultural hub in Greece - Athenians wanted to explain their achievements as descending from great gods and heroes through legends o Rich repertoire of myths relating to Athens Mythology of Athens - 3 different versions of the origins of the Athenians o Descended from Athena (Hephaestus ejaculates on Athena’s leg and she wipes it off and sprang up a child from the ground) o Autochthonous (from the earth itself) o Descended from Cecrops o Great founding ancestor, who brought laws, civilization, proper worship of the gods - Legendary heroes of the Athenians: first and foremost is Theseus, son of Aethra + mortal Aegeus (and immortal Poseidon) - Athena – goddess of wisdom and war, patron of Athens - The contest of Athens was the contest between Athena and Poseidon to control Athens - They each agreed to give a present to Athens and the Athenians would choose which one they’d like best - Poseidon struck his trident on the ground and the a spring sprang up, but it was not fresh water, it was salt water - Athena gave the olive tree - The Athenians liked the olive tree better so they made Athena the goddess of Athens Theseus and Athens - Theseus, son of Aegeus, early king of Athens, direct descendent of Athena - Birth of Theseus o Oracle at Delphi – Aegeus + Aethra + Poseidon = Theseus - The labours of Theseus 1. Periphetes, the Clubber a. Periphetes was the son of Hephaestus and was known as the Club- Bearer b. Periphetes would rob travellers and killed them with his bronze club c. Theseus tricked Periphetes into giving his club and Theseus kills Periphetes by hitting him on the head with his own club 2. Sinis, the Pinebender a. Sinis asks travellers to bend pine trees for him b. Once they hold the top of the pine-tree, he’d let go and have them catapult/split in 2 c. Theseus kills Sinis by catapulting him with the pine-tree 3. Cormmyonian sow 4. Sciron a. Sciron robbed travellers and forced them to wash his feet b. Once they have bent over, he’d kicked them off a cliff c. Theseus kills him by kicking him off a cliff 5. Circyon a. Circyon was the king of Eleusis b. He would challenge travellers to a wrestling match and the winner would get his kingdom and the loser would be killed c. Theseus defeats Circyon in the wrestling match and becomes the king of Eleusis 6. Procrustes a. Procrustes would invite travelers to sleep in his bed for the night, but
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