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Lecture 9

Lecture 9-Jason and Oedipus.doc

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Classical Studies
Victoria Owen

Lecture 9-Jason and Oedipus • Heroes connect to certain species • Myth was an althernative to science • Athens and Thesis—male sterility • Thebes city connecte to oracles • How riddles affect myths • Pollution and incests-myths related to thebes have violent family • Thebes associate with invention of writing • Thebes close to Athens so they are rivals • Thecias-capital of Thebes Oedipous and the Myths of Thebes • Thebes, in Boeotia, north west of Attica • Two foundation stories for Thebes: 1. Cadmus and the dragon 2. Amphion and Zethus Cadmus and the Dragon • Phoenician king Agenor asks his sons (Cilix, Phoenix, Cadmus) to go and search for their lost daughter Europa. • Cadmus at Delphi – he would never find Europa, but he should follow a cow and found a city where the cow stops • Founds Thebes on a hill in southern Boeotia • Slays a man-killing serpent at a spring sacred to Ares and is punished by Ares to serve for him for eight years • Europa princess abducted by Zeus • Her brothers cant find Europa • Phoenician-Turkey • Cadmus, Pithrya says he will never find Europa, to find a new home he should follow cow and where the cow stps it the new city • Comrades suppose to bring sacrificial water • Goes to spring, but it is proted by a dragon • To build new foundation always have to fight dragon • Cadmus goes looking for his comrades, he kills the dragon • Athena advises hime to take out the teeth so that he can gain the city • Athena takes half of the teeth • The teeth turn into warriors who fight each other until only 5 remain who become the Sparti • Sparti are the ancestors of Thebes • Killing dragon with a stone • Carrying water • Athena has plate with teeth • Athena tells Cadmus to sow the teeth of the dragon (the Sparti, armed men rise up from the earth, fought with each other and the five remaining were the ancestors of the house of Thebes) • Marries Harmonia, daughter of Ares with Aphrodite; wedding gifts from Aphrodite (necklace made by Hephaestus, robe). Their children: Ino, Semele, Agave, Autonoe • At death Cadmus and Harmonia leave Thebes, go to Illyria, and turn into serpents, then are sent by Zeus to the Elysian fields • Ares punishes Cadmus for 8 years • Cadmus marries Harmonia • The wedding symbolizes connection between greek and Phonecians • The robe and necklace bring unhappiness and misfortune tho those who wear it • Agave-mother of Pentheus • Autonoe: mother of Acaton who died because he saw Artemis naked • Turned into a serpent by Ares • Either die as a serpent or goes to Elysian • Cadmus brought writing to Greek th Cadmus and the Dragon, red-figure crater, 4 c. BC Amphion and Zethus • After Cadmus, his grandson Pentheus became king in Thebes • After Pentheus dies, a separate tradition reports that another son of Cadmus, Polydorus, who marries Nycteis, daughter of Nycteus. • Antiope, the other daughter of Nycteus, is impregnated by Zeus with the twins Amphion and Zethus. Nycteus commits suicide. The born twins are in the care of shepherds. • Antiope’s uncle and aunt, Lycus and Dirce, in Thebes persecute Antiope • The twins avenge their mother • The twins are associated to a second foundation of Thebes; building the walls of the city; Zethus is a cattle breeder, Amphion a lyre-player • Zethus marries Thebe • Amphion marries Niobe, daughter of Tantalus • Poydorus is the 5 child of Cadmus • Mt. cityerion • Raised in wilderness • Antiope’s relation with Aunt is important • The twins kill prince • Twins decide to buil walls around Thebes • The seven walls of thebes come towgerth because Amphion’s lyre is playing • Common to have city with women’s name Oedipus • Polydorus and Nycteis had another son, Labdacus, who had a son Laius • Laius asks for asylum in Elis, Peloponnesus, and falls in love with and rapes Chrysippus, son of Pelops. Pelops curses Laius • Laius returns to Thebes, marries Iocasta, descendent of the Sparti. Oracle said that he would die by his own son • Iocasta gives birth to a son who is exposed to die • The child left in Mount Cithaereon near Thebes is found by a shepherd who gives him to Polybus and his childless wife Merope, king and queen of Corinth • They call the baby Oedipus (swollen foot) • As a young adult, goes to Delphi to find out the truth about his birth. Pythia tells him that he will kill his father and marry his mother • Oedipus avoids going back to Corinth, goes to Thebes instead; kills an unknown charioteer on the way • Oedipus arrives to Thebes, and solves the riddle of the Sphinx (“What goes on four legs in the morning, two at midday, and three in the evening?”) • Oedipus marries the queen, Jocasta, becomes king and they have four children: Polynices, Eteocles, Antigone, Ismene • Jocasta is called Epicaste in Homer’s Odyssey • Labdacy-oedipus’ lineage • In order not to have son, he tries not to have sex with Locasta • Exposure means that the father doesn’t want the baby • Leaving the babay to the force of nature when baby is not wanted • Oedipus left on Mt. Cityion • the shepherd find Oedipus and he gives Oedipus to Polybus • at the same time Lias is king and the Sphinx kills ________ and Lias goes to Delphi • Oedipus meets Lias and they have a conflict • Oedipus goes to Thebes to kill Sphinx • Sphinx asks the answer to the riddle • And Oedipus knows the answer to the riddle • Insecest associated with riddles • Family violence, family incest, and riddles related to Thebes • Eteocles and Polynices rival brothers—self killing brothers • A & I= daughters • Oedipus has hat, answering riddle • Lower part=lion Oedipus and the Sphinx, interior of an Attic drinking cup, 490 BC Sophocles’ Oedipus the King (430 BC) • Plot main events: • Plague in Thebes • Oracle about having pollution (miasma) in the city; Laius’ murderer hasn’t been found • Oedipus starts searching for the murderer • Tiresias tells Oedipus the truth, but Oedipus doesn’t believe it • A messenger from Corinth announces Polybus’ death and confesses he received baby Oedipus from a shepherd • Jocasta hangs herself • The shepherd, also the only survivor of the chariot driven by Laios, comes and confirms the truth, Oedipus blinds and exiles himself • Ppl of thebes suffer a plague after sphinx leaves • Oracle at Delphi says there is pollution—Lais’ murder hasn’t been found=pollution • Haning associated with virigin women • Adult women kill themselves with swords or poison Aeschylus, The Seven against Thebes (467 BC) • Eteocles and Polynices share the power in Thebes • Polynices is cast out and finds refuge in Argos, in the court of Adrastus • Polynices and Tydeus of Calydon become Adrastus’ sons-in-law • Then they proceed to Thebes and Calydon to restore power to Polynices and Tydeus; the seven who lead were: from Argos Adrastus, Amphiaraus (seer married to Adrastus’ sister Eriphyle), Capaneus, Hippomedon; from Thebes Polynices; from Calydon Tydeus; from Arcadia Parthenopeu
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