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Lecture 11

CLA204H1F Lecture 11

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Department
Classics
Course
CLA204H1
Professor
Jarrett Welsh
Semester
Fall

Description
CLA204H1F L11; Nov 22, 2012 o Became possible to revere this numen Change & Adaptation o Altar set up to honour the divine power of the Wonderwoman pic emperor & his family How do mythical & legendary thinking change, once its o There wouldve been a statue on top no longer in the hands of the Greeks? o Idea showing up all over the empire Abstract numena crop diseases, growth, etc. o Idea of change and of adaptation so dont lose connection w the Greek way of thought; adjust to the Greek way of thinking The Gods & Traditional Tales Pic: Retold in modern novel, art, film, comic book (Varro) says also that the ancient Romans, for more o Change & adaptation in the storys purpose & than 170 yrs, worshipped the gods w/o an image. effects, and how its told, what its about o Augustine, City of God 4.31 o Poseidon now a giant creepy tentacle monster o 170 might not be correct instead of a shapeshifting god o But there was a long period where the Romans Western Greek cities become increasingly historical worshipped the numina, w/o statues stories, where historical ppl interact w the world of o So the Romans did something different from the legends (vs. Athenian legends like Theseus, about the start o The earliest gods arent anthropomorphic distant legendary past) o Stories pulled down to contemporary time as real Dont have good connected, written evidence of Rome til historical figures are integrated into the legendary 2 century BC past Varro Roman scholar from 5 century BC? o More an idea of adaptation The Roman Gods in Poetry (or, Myth) Lecture Topics On why poetic gods must be rejected in the context of 1. The implication of ways of thinking about the gods religion Augustine, City of God 4.27 (said by Scaevola, a o Their effects on kinds of traditional tales Roman pontiff) 2. The Aeneid as a legend o Scaevola, distinguished figure in Roman religion o Aeneas and the quality of pietas o Religious perspective: He thinks these stories have o How the myths are told to be rejected because the poets so disfigure the 3. Legends about the regal period gods that they could not be compared favourably w o The role of virtue & vice in Roman legend good ppl... comparisons of gods with humans o First 250 yrs of what Rome thought was its history Ex. Zeus & Europa o The Romans couldnt harmonize their myths w the Rome, Myths, and Legends myths of the Greeks since prob no original Roman myths Romans didnt adapt own mythology because didnt have any No creation of new gods or myths So nothing originally there, so nothing to change and no convention Instead, reached out & took the Greek myths almost w/o serious change at the start Roman Traditional Tales The absence of Roman mythology: Contrast: o Anthropomorphism & the Greek gods myths o Vs. Animism (the power within something that has no human shape; not anthropomorphic) & the Roman numina ? So Romans didnt have anything to adapt, so filled that gap in various ways; ex. By taking over Greek myths (ex. Ovid), giving something that approaches legend Altar to the Numen of the Emperors First century AD Roman Legends: 2 Differences Tarragona, Museu Nacional Arqueolgic 7590 1. A perceptible relationship to human history? Ideas about numina & roman gods changed Problem: Roman legend, while treated as history, is Thought about a numen that was more broadly defined not particularly historicalo Fictional stories that serve a specific purpose, abou Looking at this for change, and the msg the Romans are an imaginary past putting within their own stories If asked them when the legends occur, they Vase: Aeneas (hero on right, falling) being wounded by would give you a date (whereas the Greeks Diomedes (Greek warrior) would look at you strangely if you asked when o Outer edges: Athena (far left, supporting the Artemis killed Actaeon) Greeks), Aphrodite (far right, supporting her son o Nearest comparison: Compare the case of Theseus Aeneas) at Athens o In origin a Greek story Intentionally invented stories claim to be Aeneas was a minor figure in the Iliad, son of Aphrodite connected to history, but feel more like fiction & Anchises (like myths) Often overshadowed by other Trojan heroes o At best, a fantasy about the past, rather than histor Since Hector is doomed to die, Aeneas is fated to carry therefore, like myth? on to ensure th survival of the Trojans after the fall of Could easily tell most Roman legends starting w once upon a time Troy 2. The fn or purpose of Roman legend? Aeneas Invented stories designed, custom -made to convey a specific moral lesson o Often also serving as political/social propaganda Ex. Compare w Theseus Athenian propaganda o Lesson is usually more important than the historicity Romans recognized they were missing something & that they didnt have the same kind of myths as the Greeks did Filled gap by taking myths, and by making legends used for specific & pointed moral purposes (adjustment, feels like myth & once upon a time) and msgs about the world Greek classical period: 480-320BC th th st Roman: 6 & 5 century BC (lecture 1 meeting of Greeks & Romans, mash-up of gods, little evidence), 1t century BC (ex. Varro, most legends written & to
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