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CLAA06H3 (155)
Lecture 3

Lecture 3 Notes

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University of Toronto Scarborough
Classical Studies
Jessica Higgins

Week 3 in-class notes - find a poem, song, etc. that connects with classical myth - myth or mythical character in textbook; include picture or poem if it’s a work of art/poem answer 3 questions: how is myth modernized? how does it retain some of its ancient characteristics? how does the use of this myth or mythical character add to overall work? GENERATIONS - cronus becomes king of the gods - zeus leader of Olympians STRUGGLE FOR POWER - gigantomachy; when Uranus castrated, blood fell on the ground and giants sprout from that -> Gaea tries to make another trial for zeus; tells her children the giants to attack the Olympians - “war with the giants” - giants usually depicted with long hair, snakey legs, and are enormous creatures - zeus didn’t know how to stop it; received an oracal that they needed help of a mortal man-> ask herecles to help - zeus and Olympians power goes unchallenged for the rest of time - zeus and his 3 brothers; zeus gets sky, Poseidon with sea, hates with underworld MAJOR THEMES OF THE GREEK CREATION STORIES - first entity/material? Chaos (Gaea, Tartartus) - First couple/parents? Gaea and Uranus - Struggle for power between divine entities? Cronus vs. Uranus (cronus successful), Cronus vs. Zeus (Zeus successful), Titanomachy, typhoeus, gigantomachy vs. Zeus/Olympians - non static creation myth; always changing and growing; reflected in progression to complete universe -> male power over female - Gaea being reproductive asexually, Uranus locks himself to her - natural order of this within the Polis and household - male dominance; makes all decisions Ovid’s metamorphoses - Augustun time period of Ancient rome - First emperor of Rome; Agustus - period of time which it was very peaceful -> hand book of greek myth starting at the beginning of universe and ending with ovid’s own time -> Julius Caesar turning into a star -> greek myth lost religious overtones-> became more of an entertaining work - tales and transformations explain existing world order; the epic is almost a big long string of etiological tales strung together - fits in with the idea of an ever changing development of the universe -> represents many changes; we see that in first few lines-> everything mixed together - one god shapes everything putting it all in place COSMOGONY - a tale or a story of coming into being of world order (people see it as this)-> not always that the world is created by a god, sometimes it spontaneously exists - can’t confuse with cosmology - hesiod’s theogony a cosmogony, god’s are also the primordial beings MYTHS OF HUMAN CREATION - little written about origins of humans; Zeus was responsible, but most sources say Prometheus(one of the titans) - Hesiod does not mention how mortals came to be; discussed that Zeus gave birth to mortals - Prometheus; titan who took zeus’s side along with his mother-> very clever, invented many things; -> has a brother called epimetheus -> fashioned humans out of earth and water; Gaea still had some of the seed of the sky (Uranus), Prometheus allows humans to grow like plants (adding water to the Earth) - also protector of mortal people - Zeus very cautious-> zeus and Prometheus at same feast; Prometheus handing out food, hid bones in fat and tries to choke Zeus; Zeus finds out doesn’t eat bones, Zeus takes fire away from mortals to punish Prometheus -> Prometheus stole fire back, concealed it in a fenel stalk (inflammable) - fire is a symbol for technology and civilization - Zeus ordered Prometheus to be food for scavenger birds on a mountain Prometheus bound - 1 and 2 line; he gave them fire, that’s what gave them power to build house, gave them light in the night time Pandora - explains evolution and changing of human race - zeus punishes mankind as well by giving them women - Pandora one day opens the jar; all the sickness, pain etc ; only one thing was left in the jar- hope THE FIVE RACES OF MEN - route of generation is genos - depict ever deteriorating conditions; may be inspired by radical social change 8 century BC-> land distribution change; many lost their land because land was now going through private ownership; If you weren’t part of a group that owned land you couldn’t afford it yourself-> forced to mortgage their land or they lost it -> families that didn’t have land put themselves into debt slavery-> emigrate - International trade and advent of coinage - Golden age- cronus was ruler although the Olympians created the golden race -> no troubles, no hardship no illness-> lived like mankind before Prometheus stole fire -> they didn’t have to work- party and feast and never grew old-> this race vanished when earth covered them-> still present as benevolent spirits - Silver Race- created by Olympians -> inferior to the golden race; dull-witted and big babies; raised by their mothers for 100 years, when they finally grew up they lived for a few years before they died because they refused to sacrifice for the gods or they got into fights-> zeus buried them under the earth, Hesiod says this generation was still worshipped because they got to live better than those mortals who got to live after then - Bronze age; sprung from ash trees; all weaponry was bronze; fought amongst themselves, killed eachother and their spirits went down to the house of hates -> they didn’t become spirits afterwards - Heroes; more brave than previous generations; half god half men; most heroes go off to hates when they die, a select few go to isles of blessed; eutopian heaven, people went if they were especially heroic or of good birth-
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