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Greek heroes.docx

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Classical Studies
Vichi Ciocani

Greek heroes Perseus  Means "the slayer" or " the destroyer"  Connected with cities of Mycene, Tiryns and Argos  Perseus' ancestress is Io --> daughter of oceanid Melia and Inachus o God river that crosses Argive plain  Io --> priestess of Hera o Affair with Zeus o Argus o Hera's peacock --> Hera took the eyes from Argus and placed it onto a peacock o Io was transformed to a cow --> by Zeus...he was scared for her  Hera asked Argus to watch over her o Hera sends a gaet fly to harass her --> hence her wanderings  Starts at Ionian sea, Madedonia, Thrace, Bosporus straits  Io has a child called Ephaphus ("touch") in Egypt --> Zeus comes in the form of a bull and impregnates her with just a touch Danaids (daughter of Danus):  Epaphus king of Egypt marries daughter of Nile o Memphis --> now Cairo  They have a daughter Libya o Libya and Poseidon have Agenor (father of Europa) and Belus  Belus and another daughter of Nilus have twins o Aegyptus (Arabia) and Danaus (Libya)  Story of Danaids in Aeschylus' tragedy Suppliant Maidens  Aetiological myth of Lerna  Hypermnestra and Lynceus --> ancestors of house of Argos  Lynceus has a son Abas o Twin sons: Acrisius (Argos) and Proetus (Tiryns)  Acrisius fathers Danae, Proetus fathers the Proetids (connected to myth of Dionysus)  Story of Acrisius and Danae --> problem of male succession  Zeus impregnates Danae with a gold shower --> comes in the that form o She is the mother of Perseus o Danae is imprisoned b/c of her father was told that his grandson will kill him o Her father punishes Danae and her child  Puts them in a wooden box and thrown in sea  Saved by fisherman Dictys on island of Seriphos  Polydectes (Dictys' brother) --> desires Danae o Scared of Perseus --> gives him a mission  Perseus' first mission --> slaying Medusa o Helped by Athena by the Graeae ( she helps with all the main heroes) o Magic objects:  Cap of Hades  Winged sandals  Leather bag for gorgon's head  Bronze shield and sword --> from Hermes o He cuts her head off  Birth of Pegasus out of her neck--> son of Poseidon  Neck is connected to girls virginity  Bellerophon will ride on pegasus --> to slay Chimera o Peseus gets revenge on Polydectes  b/c he is pressuring Danea to marry him --> shows Medusa's head = Polydectes turns into stone o Dictys rules the island --> Athena recieves head of gorgon Perseus and andromeda:  Cepheus' and Cassiopea's daughter  In ethiopia or palestinian coast  Ceto --> sea monster sent by nereids and poseidon o Sent b/c ofboasting that the daughter is more beautiful than aphrodite and mermaids  Andromeda and Perseus o Parents to Perses --> eponym for Persians Hercules  Connected with city of Tiryns  Birth story: Alcmena (daughter of Perseus' son Electryon) and Amphytrion (nephew of Electryon--> kills him in a quarrel)  Pirates kill alcemena's brothers  Flees to Thebes --> wedding night with Alcmena o Zeus disguises himself as Amphytion's form --> consumate o Amphytion --> consumate as well  She bares twins: o One child from zeus --> Heracles o One child from Amphytion --> Iphicles  Hera jealous that she bore a son for zeus o Sends serpents --> Hercules strangled the snake with hands  Amphytion realized that Heracules is Zeus' son  Milky way is created from breast milk spurted from Hera  Lion ravaging flocks of Thespius o 50 days --> Heracules had intercourse with 50 daughters  Had 50 sons  Marriage to Megara, Deianira, Hebe o Megara --> gives him 2 sons (Euripides' Heracles Insane)  Perhaps b/c of Hera --> kills his wife and children  Atones for his deeds --> 12 labours  Deianaira --> "killer of men"  unintentially kills Heracles  Nessus (centaur) --> persuing Deianaira = Heracles kills him  Nessus gives cloak to Deianaira  Sends a gift in a box --> cloak = cling to body and burns inside  Somehow saved by Zeus  Hebes --> daughters of Hera Twelve labours:  Went to Delphi for an oracle --> bound to be a slave to his cousin Eurystheys (king of Mycene) 1. Nemean lion i. Impenetrable skin 2. Lernaean hydra i. Swampy region 3. Ceryneian deer 4. Erymanthian boar 5. Augean stables i. Moves the river --> diverted the water into the stable 6. Stymphalian birds 7. Cretan bull 8. Horses of diomedes i. Flesh eating horses 9. Girdle of hippolyta i. Hippolyta --> queen of amazon ii. Women who didn’t want to submit to husbands iii. Use prisoners to procreate 10. Cattle of geryon 11. Apple of hesperides 12. Cerberus i. Is charming and convinces persephone to give cerberus Theseus  Mostly associated with Athens  Myth of Athens : o Claimed origins of the Athenians  Not clear define origin of the Athenians  Several accounts  Athens --> homeland of public thoughts and politics  Athena --> protector of male heroes  Mythical king Cecrops (civilized king in golden age, snake and man, sprung from the Earth)  In his time the contest b/w Athena and Poseidon  Invented marriage and forbid human sacrifice  Characterized by tail of the snake  Symbol of snake -->  No defined origin for king --> simply came out of the Earth  Athenians = "sprung of the Earth"  Autochthonous  Descendants of the king Erichtonius --> son of Hephaestus and Athena  Athena went to Hephaestus to fix gear --> he tried to seduce Athena  He ejaculated on her leg --> she was disgusted and wiped it off of her leg  It grew and became Erichtonius Daughters of Cecrops:  Daughters of Cecrops (Aglaurus, Herse, Pandrousus) o Received the basket with the infant Erichtonius --> Athena raises Erichtonius o One account of the story  Daughters receive infant in basket to protect  Athena tell them not to look in the basket  They do look into the basket (Aglaurus and Pandrousus)  They go insane in one account or get punished in other account  Athena takes baby back and raises him  Arrhephoria o Festival of the "dew carriers" o Two young girls (the Arrhephoroi) living for a yr on the Acropolis and weaving a rove for Athena o Priestess of Athena --> sends them to cave of Aphrodite; the baskets  Motif of basket and snake in basket --> right of passage Cephalus myth  In Ovid --> all Cecrops' daughters look into the basket (2nd account of story) o Hermes falls in love with Herse --> she bears the baby Cephalus ("Head")  Cephalus and Eos have a child Phaethon  Cephalus marries Procris --> daughter of Erechteus, grandson of Erichtonius o Theme of suspicion and jealousy --> golden crown o They have a good marriage until he is suspicious of her fidelity  He offers her a golden crown disguised as someone else --> finally
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