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Lecture

March 9 Lecture

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CLA204H1
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D.Sells

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CLA204 March 9, 2011 Troy and the Trojan War HeroesLecture
7
Primary genres; epics Primary Texts; Iliad and Odyssey and the rest of the Epic Cycle
-Homeric poems written down c. 800 700BCE
House of Atreus
A. Tantalos
-man with special access to gods, dined with the gods,
-decided to test the gods omniscience, fed them his son Pelops to see if they knew what they were eating,
and they did except for Demeter, who was distracted and tasted Pelops; she ate the shoulder, made him a
new shoulder of ivory
B. Pelops
-challenged Oenamaus (King of Pisa) to a chariot race for daughter Hippodamia, went to Pisa
-king of Pisa is crazy, when people come and propose to his daughter, he challenges the suitors to a
chariot race; he decapitates the suitors while they are riding, decapitates them and displays the heads in
his house
-he brings a special chariot made by Poseidon, bribery of Myrtilus (charioteer driver for tyrant king)
-king dies after Myrtilus takes bribe and ruins his chariot
-Pelops kills Myrtilus for going after his wife by throwing him off a cliff, curses him as he dies; now double
cursed
-Pelops reigns in Pisa, has four sons; Pittheus, Chrysippus , Thyestes, Atreus
(sent to Hades for cheating death, pushes boulder up the hill) (other submerged in water with fruit
dangling in front of him, every time he reached for the tree it would move; constantly teased with food and
drink for eternity; tantalized)
C. Banquet of Thyestes
-golden lamb of Atreus, promised he would sacrifice the best lamb in his flock to Artemis; too valuable; he
skins the lamb, takes the fleece and hides it, sacrificing skinned lamb to Artemis
-Mycenaeans seek a king, either Atreus or Thyestes would be chosen
- Thyestes seduces his brothers wife to learn where the golden fleece is and he produces it when the
Mycenaeans seek him as king; Atreus says Zeus will make the sun rise in the west instead of the east
-Zeus makes sun rise in the west, Thyestes driven into exile by Atreus
-Thyestes seeks revenge and he goes to the oracle who said he must impregnate his own daughter
-Atreus marries Pelopia, Aegisthus (son of Thyestes) born
-woman whoThyestes encounters becomes pregnant, he drops his sword while leaving her, swords are
identifiers
-Aegisthus kills Atreus after recognition of Thyestes; Thyestes reigns briefly
-Agamemnon and Menelaus drive out Thyestes; Agamemnon becomes king
II. Causes of Trojan War, narrated in Epic Cycle (Proclus summaries)
-plan of Zeus, relieve Gaia of overpopulation by deaths of Trojan War, ease her burden
A. Birth of Helen
-Tyndareus (king of Sparta) marries Leda, sister of Althea (mother of Meleager)
-Zeus transforms into a swan in order to approach her, Leda gives birth to Polydeuces/Helen to Zeus, to
Castor/Clytemnestra to Tyndareus
-Polydeuces and Castor known as Dioscuri, participated in numerous adventures (e.g. Argo expedition)
Birth of Helen in Comedy
-in some myths she is born from an egg, after her mother slept with Zeus as a swan
B. Oath of Tyndareus
-Helen, most beautiful woman in Greece her birth is a cause of evil
www.notesolution.com
-suitors of Helen are greatest figures of heroic age; Agamemnon, Menelaus, Odysseus, Telemonian Ajax,
Diomedes (but not Achilles) he doesnt want to choose and make one of the heroes mad, so Odysseus the
intelligent helps out
-Tyndareus fears suitors anger, Odysseus solves dilemma in order to marry Penelope; pick one man and
make the others promise not to interfere with their marriage with the Oath of Tyndareus
-Tyndareus gives his niece, Penelope to Odysseus (paradigm of femininity; perfect wife)
C. Wedding of Peleus and Thetis
Peleus son of Aecus (of Aegina)
-exiled with brother Telamon for killing other brother, Phocus
-Peleus fled to Phthia in Thessay (north), Telamon founded kingdom on island of Salamis
-mermadons born of ants, Achilles grandfather is the king of the mermadons
-Peleus stayed in exile with Acastus, king of Iolcus (son of Pelias), showed him Xenia
-Peleas, evil uncle tyrant who stole Jasons kingdom in Iolchus, his son Acastus rules Iolchus, where
Peleus goes into exile
-Potiphars wife motif; Astydameia accuses Peleus of rape after she tries to seduce him and he refuses
-Acastus plots to kill Peleus for the crime
-sea goddess Thetis agrees to marry Peleus (mortal marrying god is a cause of evil)
-wedding attended by all gods on Mt. Pelion
-Eris (strife) not invited, throws apple with to the fairest written on it, because she is angry
-Hera, Aphrodite, Athena each claim apple because they claim to be the fairest goddess, big fight, Zeus
says someone must declare who the fairest goddess is; Zeus picks a shepherd to make the decision
Birth of Achilles
-made almost invincible by his mother, Thetis (father is Peleus), dips him in immortal liquid, his foot is
left out
-Achilles entrusted to Cheiron on Mt. Pelion (young heroes given to Cheiron to raise up mighty warriors)
-grows to manhood, hidden as a girl on Scyros by Thetis
-impregnates Deidameia (marries her, son will be Neoptolemus)
-Greeks know that the man who will help Greece be victorious in the Trojan war is hidden amongst girls,
discovered by Odysseus and Diomedes, they plan a trick by laying out trinkets for the girls, put a shield
and sword off to the side to attract Achilles, they identify him; joins Trojan Expedition
Judgement of Paris (Hyginus 92)
-Paris (abandoned as a youth(, a Trojan shepherd, chosen to be judge of fairest goddess
-Paris exposed, raised by shepherds
-goddesses appear led by Hermes, they make him choose the most beautiful goddess, they bribe Paris with
kingship over all, (Hera) prowess in warfare, (Athena) and Helen. (Aphrodite)
-Paris chooses Aphrodite, goes to Sparta to claim Helen; hosted by Menelaus, yet violates xenia by
stealing his stuff and running off
-Helen and Paris elope, Menelaus invokes oath of Tyndareus
-most important cause of evil is the judgement of Paris
E. Sacrifice of Iphigenia at Aulis
-Agamemnon decides to shoot a deer while bored, boasts that even Artemis couldnt make a better shot
-Artemis is angered, causes great winds to come up which wont let the Greeks set sail
-Agamemnon must sacrifice his own daughter, Iphigenia, for the expedition to make Artemis happy
-lie to his wife, marriage to Achilles becomes marriage to Hades; she is killed (another myth says Artemis
puts a goat in her place in the last minute, and she is saved, but most traditions say she is dead) buried
in wedding dress
-another manifestation of the curse of the house of Atreus
Philoctetes, son of Poeas
-bitten by a snake in the foot by chance, gets back on ship and his foot is infected from the snake, the
Greeks (famously Odysseus) dumps him on Lemnos, survives alone in a cave by eating birds
www.notesolution.com

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Description
CLA204 March 9, 2011 Troy and the Trojan War Heroes Lecture 7 Primary genres; epics Primary Texts; Iliad and Odyssey and the rest of the Epic Cycle -Homeric poems written down c. 800 700BCE House of Atreus A. Tantalos -man with special access to gods, dined with the gods, -decided to test the gods omniscience, fed them his son Pelops to see if they knew what they were eating, and they did except for Demeter, who was distracted and tasted Pelops; she ate the shoulder, made him a new shoulder of ivory B. Pelops -challenged Oenamaus (King of Pisa) to a chariot race for daughter Hippodamia, went to Pisa -king of Pisa is crazy, when people come and propose to his daughter, he challenges the suitors to a chariot race; he decapitates the suitors while they are riding, decapitates them and displays the heads in his house -he brings a special chariot made by Poseidon, bribery of Myrtilus (charioteer driver for tyrant king) -king dies after Myrtilus takes bribe and ruins his chariot -Pelops kills Myrtilus for going after his wife by throwing him off a cliff, curses him as he dies; now double cursed -Pelops reigns in Pisa, has four sons; Pittheus, Chrysippus , Thyestes, Atreus (sent to Hades for cheating death, pushes boulder up the hill) (other submerged in water with fruit dangling in front of him, every time he reached for the tree it would move; constantly teased with food and drink for eternity; tantalized) C. Banquet of Thyestes -golden lamb of Atreus, promised he would sacrifice the best lamb in his flock to Artemis; too valuable; he skins the lamb, takes the fleece and hides it, sacrificing skinned lamb to Artemis -Mycenaeans seek a king, either Atreus or Thyestes would be chosen - Thyestes seduces his brothers wife to learn where the golden fleece is and he produces it when the Mycenaeans seek him as king; Atreus says Zeus will make the sun rise in the west instead of the east -Zeus makes sun rise in the west, Thyestes driven into exile by Atreus -Thyestes seeks revenge and he goes to the oracle who said he must impregnate his own daughter -Atreus marries Pelopia, Aegisthus (son of Thyestes) born -woman whoThyestes encounters becomes pregnant, he drops his sword while leaving her, swords are identifiers -Aegisthus kills Atreus after recognition of Thyestes; Thyestes reigns briefly -Agamemnon and Menelaus drive out Thyestes; Agamemnon becomes king II. Causes of Trojan War, narrated in Epic Cycle (Proclus summaries) -plan of Zeus, relieve Gaia of overpopulation by deaths of Trojan War, ease her burden A. Birth of Helen -Tyndareus (king of Sparta) marries Leda, sister of Althea (mother of Meleager) -Zeus transforms into a swan in order to approach her, Leda gives birth to PolydeucesHelen to Zeus, to CastorClytemnestra to Tyndareus -Polydeuces and Castor known as Dioscuri, participated in numerous adventures (e.g. Argo expedition) Birth of Helen in Comedy -in some myths she is born from an egg, after her mother slept with Zeus as a swan B. Oath of Tyndareus -Helen, most beautiful woman in Greece her birth is a cause of evil www.notesolution.com
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