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Lecture

March 30 Lecture

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Department
Classics
Course Code
CLA204H1
Professor
D.Sells

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CLA204 March 30, 2011 Rome and AeneasLecture
10
I. Roman Myth
-4thC BCE Greek arts traveled to Italy after the fall of Athens
A. In General:
-no divine myth, equivalent to legends
-little is historical; mostly intended to elicit support for social practices
-modeled on Greek myth
-Roman gods not originally anthropomorphic
-not many roots in history, more propaganda, Aeneid; reinforce laws/ideas/culture of Rome
B. Numina/Sacrificium
-native Italian divinities were personifications and strictly limited to their functions
-A Numen (nuo nod or give assent); inhabits a thing and makes something happen, good or bad
-Sacrificium was a legal transfer into the ownership of the numen the holder of the thing inhabited and
the sacrificer
-Janus; god with two faces, of passage, marked boundaries and bridges; had a temple in the Roman forum
door open when there was war, closed when there was peace unique god
C. Roman Pantheon
-Jupiter (Jove): sky god, equivalent of Zeus (father sky)- more like fate to the Romans; his word is reality,
future of Rome
-Juno: head of gods, equivalent of Hera; oversee female divinities of her household
-Ceres: wheat goddess, equivalent of Demeter
-Diana: Roman Artemis, associated with woods, fertility, childbirth
-Mercury: equivalent of Hermes; name means commerce, mercantile
-Vulcan: god of volcanic, destructive fire, equivalent to Hephaestus; retains destructive character (builds
shield for Aeneas, same as Hephaestus building shield for Achilles
-Neptune: associated with Poseidon
-Apollo is same
-concepts as gods (e.g. Concordia; agreement, harmony)
-union of goods and concepts (e.g. Mars Ultor, Mars the Avenger
D. Household Gods
-no Greek equivalent
-Lar (lares) protector of the household; transferred through house
-Penates protected things and food, wealth, physical assets of the household
-gens; religious collectives Romans belonged to, Greek fratri, roots of men in communities like symposium
-patria familias; father of the house; not extreme in Greek culture
-patria potestas was ultimate power of head of house; could kill his children, more power
-pietas; state of household represented loyalty and respect to state, sense of duty
II. Virgins Aeneid (19BCE)
-foundation myth as a fusion of two different traditions
-Founders: Aeneas, Romulus and Remus
-Two key dates; 753BC foundation of Rome, 509BC foundation of republic
-Aeneas is described as pious; i.e. Achilles is swift-footed
-Virgil 70BCE before him, no Roman culture and literature produced, only Greek; had no identity
-wrote didactic poetry like Hesiod; wrote the epic soon before his death
-Caesar Augustus ruling by himself in relative peace for over a decade; golden age of culture, wealth, but
no central Roman epic; Augustus encourages Virgil to write the epic, be like Homer
-takes Troy as descendants for Roman people; Aeneas is Trojan prince that escaped sack of Troy; went
West
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Description
CLA204 March 30, 2011 Rome and Aeneas Lecture 10 I. Roman Myth th -4 C BCE Greek arts traveled to Italy after the fall of Athens A. In General: -no divine myth, equivalent to legends -little is historical; mostly intended to elicit support for social practices -modeled on Greek myth -Roman gods not originally anthropomorphic -not many roots in history, more propaganda, Aeneid; reinforce lawsideasculture of Rome B. NuminaSacrificium -native Italian divinities were personifications and strictly limited to their functions -A Numen (nuo nod or give assent); inhabits a thing and makes something happen, good or bad -Sacrificium was a legal transfer into the ownership of the numen the holder of the thing inhabited and the sacrificer -Janus; god with two faces, of passage, marked boundaries and bridges; had a temple in the Roman forum door open when there was war, closed when there was peace unique god C. Roman Pantheon -Jupiter (Jove): sky god, equivalent of Zeus (father sky)- more like fate to the Romans; his word is reality, future of Rome -Juno: head of gods, equivalent of Hera; oversee female divinities of her household -Ceres: wheat goddess, equivalent of Demeter -Diana: Roman Artemis, associated with woods, fertility, childbirth -Mercury: equivalent of Hermes; name means commerce, mercantile -Vulcan: god of volcanic, destructive fire, equivalent to Hephaestus; retains destructive character (builds shield for Aeneas, same as
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