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January 19 Lecture

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University of Toronto St. George

CLA204H1 January 19, 2011 Zeus World Order Lecture 2 Homer (c.800 BCE) -lived somewhere in Asia Minor, wrote Iliad and Odyssey Iliad: 16,000 lines, story of Greeks in trony, 10 year of the war, wrath of Achilles is the theme of the story, the war is the context Odyssey: 12,000 lines, story of Odysseus Nostos 10 year journey home from Troy -Homer first expresses (in writing) systematic explanation of how the gods, universe, and humanity came into being (BC14, Oceanus and Tethys) -begins after Troy has fallen, takes place over a few weeks -preserves brief hints of Theogony; earths existence originated from two primordial gods, Oceanus and Tethys th -poems reflect elements from both Mycenaean world and 8 century BCE, oral tradition, older elements of culture -Homeric question: it hasnt been proved that there was a single man named Homer, but that the works were perhaps written by more than one man, maybe passed down by schools of poets Hesiod (c.700BCE) -Theogony and Works and Days st rd -1 person narrative: Hesiod speaks directly to us (unlike Homer who uses 3 person) among the first of these narrators -born in Asia Minor, but moved with father to Boeotia, Greece -Shepherd: 9 Muses, goddesses of poetry visit him in a dream on Mt. Helicon and make him a poet -Theogony: most comprehensive version of how universe, gods and humanity came to be -poem is thought of as a hymn to Zeus, story of his greatness -Works and Days: explains human condition, farming, justice -human analogue vs. Theogony which is another world, time place, chiefly about human beings Epic Cycle -vast oral tradition of Epic Saga, bunch of mythological stories about various topics in legend or heroic myth -Heroic (Trojan war, Theban war), but also theogonic poems -composed in writing after Homeric poems by different poems, some on regionallocal myths -all fragmentary, most are lost, anonymous poets -poems that were popular but not good enough to be known as those like Homers epics -stories were very old, but agreed committed to the record after the Homeric poems were written Homeric Hymns (7 6 century) -believed to be by Homer in antiquity by the ancients, but the real authors are unknown -hymns in honour of specific deities: Demeter, Aphrodite, Hermes, Dionysus, Apollo -cult songs addressed to a god, talking about their powers, influence, why they matter, important cult sites -performed at religious festivals Classical Myth -performative genres -choral poetry: singing and dancing in honour of divinity or mortal (athlete) choruses of boysgirls (e.g. dithyramb, type of choral poem sung and danced by young girlsboys in honour of Dionysus) -tragedy: dramatization of heroic myth onstage, at festivals of Dionysus -actors in costume, choruses, mass entertainment Playwrights include: Aeschylus (525-456), Sophocles (496-406), Euripides (484-406), Aristophanes
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