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CLA219H1 Lecture Notes - Peloponnesian War, Ascanius, Epigraphy

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Regina Höschele

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CLA219: Women in Antiquity
Tuesday Sept 11, 2012
Lecture 1 - Goddesses in Ancient Myth
Antiquity = western ancient culture centered on the mediterranean
How do we know anything about women?
Archaeological/material evidence
We don’t have immediate access, only through remains
In most cases we get a male perspective
Historical Periods
Ancient Greece
Archaic ca. 750 - 500 BC
Classical ca. 500 - 323 BC
Hellenistic ca. 323 - 30 BC
Imperial ca. 146 BC
Rome (founded in 753 BC)
Roman Republic ca. 500 - mid 1st cent. BC
Roman Empire ca. 30 BC - 3rd cent. AD
Late Antiquity ca 4th - 6th cent. AD
Archaic period was the age of Sappho and other lyric poets
During this time the lIliad and the Odyssey were first written down
Classical Greece centered on Athens
Athens vs. Sparta - the role of women very different between the two
“Classic” refers to something timeless - so great that it is still relevant (for example, we
still read the Odyssey). Meaning exemplary, or the height of high culture
People tend to think that after classical period there is nothing of great value, or that things
diminish but this is not so
Hellenistic period focuses on the split of Alexanders empire into separate monarchs
This period ends with the battle of Actium
Greece becomes a Roman province in 16 BC
Rome is founded in 753BC
In the beginnings of ROme there was a monarchy of 7 kings, they were then replaced with the re-
Roman Empire - Augustus Printemps and the start of the emperors
Many previous civil wars led up to the battle of Actium
Romans were a great military power; the Greeks were a great intellectual power
Polis sends out people to colonize
Greek colonies in asia minor and Italy
Colonies have links back to their mother city
Parthenon - height of Classical architecture in Porcelain Age (5th century)
In course of the 5th century Athens and Sparta fought against each other in the Peloponnesian
war and athens loses political power
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CLA219: Women in Antiquity
Tuesday Sept 11, 2012
Lecture 1 - Goddesses in Ancient Myth
Romulus and Remus found Rome
Status of women not the same everywhere, nor at the same time
Most cases we have a patriarchal society where females are responsible for the house and have
only few public roles available to them
Misogyny - “hatred of women”
Athens is associated with birth of democracy where decisions are made by the public. But the
public consisted only of free men.
The Olympians
The 12 Olympians consist of Zeus (Jupiter), Hera (Juno), Demeter (Ceres), Poseidon (Neptune),
Hestia (Vesta), and their offspring or progenies:
Aphrodite (Venus), Athena (Minerva), Ares (Mars), Apollo, Artemis (Diana), Hephaestus (Vul-
Goddess of love and beauty - embodiment of lust and beauty
Epithets include Kypris (Homer), Kythereia (Hesiod), Philomedea (the one who smiles; derived
from the Greek word for penis), Anadyomene (meaning rising up [of the water])
Over the centuries artists have been particularly fascinated with the latter epithet as it allows
them to portray the female body as nude, which is often taboo
Born from Uranus genitals; or the daughter of Zeus and Dione
Wife of Hephaestus
Aphrodite is really not made for marriages (as we’ll find out below)
Mother of Eros (Cupid)
Mistress of Ares
Fed up with his wife’s running about Hephaestus fashions an invisible net and stretches it
above the lovers’ bed. When next Aphrodite cheats with Ares the net falls and entangles
them. Hephaestus calls to the other gods to witness the lovers’ shame.
Hephaestus says she is fair but not honest and asks for the price he paid for her to be repaid
Mortal lovers include Anchises from whom she has son Aeneas, and Adonis
Ancient religion differs because the gods can experience human emotions and trials such as lust
and shame and dwell in immorality
Caesar claims to be descended from Julus, son of Aeneas
During the Judgement of Paris the three goddesses Aphrodite, Athena and Hera all promised dif-
ferent things in order to be judged the fairest goddess. Hera offers him position where he may rule
the known world; Athena offers martial knowledge; and Aphrodite offers the fairest woman to love
Helen is already married to Agamemnon, and her philandering starts the Trojan War
Her beauty is “too great” and is consequently threatening
Sister of Apollo, daughter of Leto
Virgin goddess of the hunt; hunting was often equated with chastity
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