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Lecture 6

Lecture 6 Notes

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Classical Studies
Jessica Higgins

Notorious inmates of the Underworld (repeat offenders) - Tantalus: once a friend of the gods, but he knew that they knew everything that was going on and he tried to test this power? he invites them to a Banquet, and serves his son up for dinner (all gods realize this trick, except for Demeter). The gods bring Pelops back to life, and go on to punish Tantalus o His punishment is that he is always hungry, but he can never eat (ine the underworld) - Sisyphus: he seduced Odysseus? mother on the evening of her wedding, then he goes on to trick death (Thanatos) the first time he died. When he gets taken to the underworld, he imprisons death, and goes back to the living o Punishment: roll a boulder on the hill, but once at the top, it rolls down again = eternal labour - Ixion: he was the king of the Lapyth people, and lustful for Hera; Zeus didn?t think that anyone else should be attracted to Hera, he made a joke of it, and made a cloud of hera. Ixion raped the cloud, and his semen made the centaur o Punishment: latched to a circle that spins around, the wheel is on fire - Danaids ? Daughters of Danaus: poet Virgil includes people who have sinned against other people; Danaids were a group of women, who killed all their husbands on their communal wedding night o Punishment: eternal labour o This is a sign of the roman morality being developed at the time of Virgil - Hades = place of nourishmen Elysiumelysian fields: - odyssey: if you were special in the gods eyes you would be rewarded and sent to Elysium - you needed to be special; like heroes; ex. Menelaus (Helen?s husband), Zeus? son-in-law o when he dies he will go to Elysium and be with Helen - Aeneid ? he includes heroes, great men, poets, philosophers in Elysium Literary Encounters with the Dead: Odyessy - book 11, ca. 5th cent. BCE i.e. Archaic Period - the boundary between the living and dead is not achalon, but the river Ocean - Odysseus must perform a ritual to talk to the dead; he then promises to sacrifices a ram; sacrifices a sheep; this allows the dead to come up and drink this concoction, now able to speak to Odysseus o Necromancy ? a form of mahic through which someone summons the ghostspirit of the dead in order to perform divination - Odyssey 11.210-222; Powell p. 293: ?Dear mother, why do you shrink away and avoid my embrace?
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