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Chapter 16.pdf

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Douglas Frayne

- Myths ofAthens: - Claimed Origins of theAthenians: 1.That they were descended from the moral Cecrops.the Myth of the king Cecrops (civilizing king in the golden age,snake and man,spring from the earth,taught civilization to worship Zeus,to abandon human sacrifice,in his time the contest between Poseidon andAthena for the recognition as Patron of the cityAthens:Athena offers the olive tree and Poseidon offers a spring of saltwater on theAcropolis,they chooseAthena) 2.autochthonous "sprung of the earth" 3.They were descended fromAthena.Descendants of the king Erichthonius, son of Hephaestus andAthena - Story of Erichthonius: - Erichthonius was born in this way:Athena had gone to Hephaestus' smithy for repair for her weapons.Missing his exwifeAphrodite, whom he had divorced for adultery,Hephaestus pursued the goddess lustfully across theAcropolis.Although lame,Hephaestus caught up with her and ejaculated semen onto her leg.Athena wiped it off with disgust on a piece of wool,which she threw to the grond.Up sprang Erichthonius whose name probably means "the man of wool and earth".Athena took the infant,whom she wanted to make immortal, placed him a basket,and gave the basket to the daughters of Cecrops: Aglaurus "shining",Herse "dew",and Pandrosus "all-dew".She warned the 3 daughters on no condition to look inside the basket.Pandrosus obeyed,butAglaurus and averse could not resist.They saw something in the basket that drove them mad;a serpent,which sprang at them, or a child with a serpent's tail instead of legs,or a child entwined by a serpent.In horror at the vision,Aglaurus and zherse leaped from the Acropolis to their deaths,andAthena took back the child and raised him herself.When he grew up,Erichthonius became the king of Athens.In honor of his "mother"Athena,he set up a wooden image of her on theAcropolis -Two myths about the daughters of Cecrops: 1.the daughters of Cecrops (Aglaurus,Herse,Pandrosus) receive the basket with the infant Erichtonius.Athena raises Erichtonius. -Arrhephoria:festival of the "dew carriers";two young girls,theArrhephoroi, living for a year onAcropolis and weaving a robe forAthena;priestess of Athens sends them to a cave ofAphrodite;there they took baskets on their heads,carried them down a secret stairway cut in the rock and left them at the bottom.They then climbed back with a covered basket containing some mysterious thing 2.Cephalus' myth: - in Ovid,all Cecrops' daughters look into the basket and survive.Hermes falls in love with Herse.Aglaurus offered to lead him to Herse's bed in return for gold.Hermes takes the bribe,butAthens,still angry thatAglaurus had looked inside the basket,inspired a ferocious jealous in her.In spite of the bribe,Aglaurus tried to prevent Hermes from coming to Herse so he turns her to stone! Herse then bears the baby Cephalus ("head") - Cephalus and Eos have a child:Phaethon - Cephalus marries Procris,daughter of Erechteus,grandson of Erichtonius; -At first the marriage of Cephalus and Procris was happy.But Cephalus could not believe his good fortune and began to give away to irrational suspicion.To test Procris' love,he came to her in disguise,tempting her with ever-greater rewards to sleep with him.When he offered her a golden crown,she at last agreed.In a rage,he revealed who he was,and Procris ashamed and frightened,fled to the court of Minos in Crete - Procris in Crete,cures king Minos of his curse (instead of semen,he ejaculates spider and scorpions that devoured the genitals of his mistress) and she goes back toAthens with his gifts (the magical hound Lealaps that always caught what it chases and a magical spear that never missed its mark) disguised as a boy.Cephalus still missed his wife but he covered the Lealaps and spear.Procris offered to give him both if he slept with her/him. Cephalus gives in and agrees and for awhile they live happily. - Procris still feared that Cephalus was meetingAurora (Eos) so she followed him. Cephalus ends up killing her with the spear while hunting. - Cephalus was Exiled toThebes (and the story of the fox never to be caught).Amphitryon offered Cephalus a great treasure for the Ioan of Laelaps.Thus Laelaps,the hound that always caught its prey,chased the fox that could never be caught.Jupiter (Zeus) turns them both into stone -The Myth of Procne andTereus (Ovid): - King Erichtonius had a son,king Pandion who has two daughter,Procne and Philomela;Pandion,helped by the king ofTraciansTereus,wages war against Thebes - In gratitude for his help,Pandion gaveTereus his daughter Procne and together they have a son,Itys - Procne asks to see her sister Philomela whoTereus falls in love with -Tereus rapes Philomela and cuts her tongue - Philomela's tapestry and sends it to Procne - Procne saves Philomela - Procne kills Itys,and serves his body toTereus as revenge,metamorphism of the tree characters (hoopoe (Tereseus),nightingale (Procne),swallow (Philomela)) -Theseus: -When Pandion died,his son Erechtheus,brother of Procne and Philomela, became king.Erechtheus married and had several children including a second Cecrops,Procris (who married Cephalus) and Orithyia.Orthyia gave birth to Zetes and Calais.Erechtheus soon dies and the second Cecrops became king, then his son the second Pandion. -A second king Pandion marries Creusa,with whom they have four sons, including the childrenAegeus (sterile) and Pallas (with 50 sons) who despised the sterileAegeus -Aegeus goes to the Delphic oracle to learn how he could have an heir and the oracle says:"do not open the mouth of the wineskin until you come to the height of theAthenians" - Goes to Pittheus for help with understanding the Oracle,the king ofTroezen (north of Poleponnesus);Pittheus understood the oracle:Aegeus was destined to beget a child when next he had intercourse with a woman.Pittheus plies Aegeus with much wine and sent him to his daughterAethra -After intercourse withAegeus,Aethra,instructed by a dream,else and went to offer sacrifice on a nearby island,where Poseidon appeared from the sea and possessed her.Thus wasTheseus conceived,at once the son of the mortal Aegeus and the immortal Poseidon.The next morningAegeus,suspecting that Aethra was pregnant,ordered her to raise their child in secret.He placed a sword and a pair of sandals under a large rock.When the child (Theseus) grew strong enough to lift it,he should take the objects beneath the rock and travel to him inAthens -The Six Labours ofTheseus: -WhenTheseus grew to manhood,Aethra showed him the rock.Exerting his full strength,he lifted it and removed the sword and sandals.With these he set off toAthens.Aethra and Pittheus,fearing the infamous bandits and killers along the route,better him to go by sea,butTheseus insisted on the land route.Theseus then performed six famous deeds of strength on the coastal road: 1.Killing of Periphetes (the "clubber"),son of Hephaestus,who liked to bash nearby passerby with his iron club.Theseus took the club,killed Periphetes with it,and thereafter carried it himself 2.Killing of Sinis ("the pinebender"),a giant and son of Poseidon.He had the nickname "the pinebender" because he forced travelers to help him bend a pine tree to the ground.H
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