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March 9 Lecture

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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
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