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chapter 3

Course Code
Claesson Welsh

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Sep 20, 2010
Chapter Three: Creation Myths
-Greeks view earth as flat
oThe world according to Hecataeus 500BC; river (ocean) flows around disc of land
oSky is a dome over land, touches the edges of the world; basically a roof; said that it was
made of bronze or iron
gods lived on top of the roof; the divine realm is reachable, not of a parallel universe
osun god travelled across dome, but never back across so greeks thought there would be
something below - possibly underground > the underworld which is far below the land
ounderworld realm also reachable and not part of a parallel universe
-Hesiod on origins of the Kosmos (universe, world order)
ofirst Chaos, then Gaia, then Tartarus, then Eros; from Chaos > Erebus and Night; from
Night + Erebus > Aether and Day
-four primal realities
ocome into being separately and together, not born of each other
oChaos: a yawning void
Not empty space, but also no form
Substantial enough to be affected by heat of Zeus thunderbolt (according to Hesiod)
Feminine divine power, not anthropomorphic
Source of dark, negative things
oGaia: earth
Nothing to suggest Hesiod thought Gaia looked any diff at the origin of universe
than it did in his own time; so earth looked the same the whole time
oTartarus: beneath earth
Dim, murky
Deep below earth; as far below as heavens are above it; below Hades
A bronze hammer would take 9 days to fall into Tartarus (on the 10th day) from land
Secure prison for divine forces; separate from Hades (but is lumped together later on
in time)
oEros: love, desire; fairest of all
Generative force for mating and procreation
w/out this desire no reason to procreate = no other generations of gods
ohuman perspective, desire gives birth to rest of creation
-Ovid on creation
oMetamorphoses 1.5-9, 15-20
oBefore the sea and lands began to be,
before the sky had covered every thing,
then all of natures face was featureless -
what men call chaos: undigested mass
of crude, confused and scumbled elements,
a heap of seeds that clashed, of things mismatched.
For though the sea and land and air were there,
the land could not be walked upon, the sea
could not be swum, the air was without spendor;
no thing maintained its shape; all were at war;
in one same body cold and hot would battle;
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