Ancient Mythology Lec 05.doc

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Classical Studies
Vikki Cochioni

Ancient Mythology Lec.05 02/06/2013 Athena (continuation) - Creates ships, the bridle, pottery - Defends cities - Creates clothing - Virgin goddess also known as “Parthenos” - Goddess of defensive war, walls are like clothing of city - Civilizes sea by means of sheeps (taming) - Goddess of pottery (Hephaestus and Dionysus share attribute) - Women make fine thread to weave/spin them to make clothing etc. - Myth: In Ovid’s Metamorphoses, Arachne, was skilful in spinning and said she was better than Athena (Hubris). Athena came as a human and tried to teach her new ways to spin, but Arachne said she didn’t need help. In a competition with Arachne, Athena creates a tapestry of the human punishment of Hubris and her fight for Athens with Poseidon while Arachne makes a tapestry of the love affairs of gods and how they change into different forms to come to mortal women. Arachne’s was better, so out of jealousy, Athena turned her into a spider. Demeter (Roman Ceres) - Goddess of agriculture, and taught mankind how to cultivate cereals - Most of the myths about her are in the Homeric hymn to Demeter - Changes from fertility to agriculture goddess in Roman myths - Strongly associated to daughter Persephone also known as Kore (maiden) - Myth: In Homeric hymn to Demeter, Persephone is the daughter of Zeus and Demeter and while she’s playing with her friends, the earth opens in half and Hades comes out in a chariot and abducts Persephone. Demeter searches for her, and finds out by the sun that she was abducted by Hades. She asks Zeus to bring her back. She asks her daughter if she ate anything in the underworld because if she did, she cannot come back. Persephone not wanting to hide anything said she ate a bit of pomegranates. So as a compromise, Persephone was to spend 1/3 of the year in the underworld and the rest with her mother. – Cult in Eleusis in Attica, rite of passage for women and is a secret about Demeter’s search for Persephone (Myo = To keep mouth shut) - Persephone: In representations she is stern, very serious and lots of jewellery as goddess of the underworld and the wife of Hades Dionysus (Roman Bacchus/Liber) - God of fertility and vegetation, god of wine grapes and symposia - God of drama – The emergence of tragedy is closely tied with the Athenian festival of Dionysus – Masks are both hiding and revealing ones emotions - Madness, irrationality, intoxication - Plato said, you can see the truth character of a man, when you see him drunk - Effect on humans is to uncivilize them - Birth: “The twice-born” son or the “god of Nysa” unindentified mountain. Son of Zeus and Semele, daughter of Cadmus, the founder of Thebes with sisters Ino and Agave (Cadmus brother of Europa, abducted by Zeus. While looking for her he found the city of Thebes). Semele is seduced by Zeus and Hera tricks her by telling her to ask Zeus for a favour and he doesn’t refuse and asks her to show himself in his true form to make sure he’s not lying, so he does, but she’s burnt to ashes. Zeus saves the womb and is not properly ready to give birth so he takes care of and teaches the baby and after 3 months gives birth to him (With the help of Hermes in some representations). - Birth 2: Orphism version, Zeus and Persephone conceive Zagreus, who is raised by Nymphs and the Curetes (Young men who protect Zeus in the cave). Titans (Earch creatures – associated with Hera) trick him out of the cave with mirror and toys and once he’s out, they dismember and eat him. Zeus manages to save the heart, and seduces Semele and then gives birth to Dionysus. He burns the Titans to ashes and creates mortals out of ashes so they’re half titans, half divine (Zagreus was eaten by titans). - Representations: Leopa
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