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CLA204H1 - Lecture 04 - Zeus and the Twelve Olympians.docx

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Vichi Ciocani

1 CLA204H1 – Lecture 04 – Zeus and the Twelve Olympians Monday, January 14, 2013 Today’s lecture: 1) Pandora’s jar – continued 2) The myth of the five races and the myth of the flood 3) Zeus and the Pantheon (12 Olympians) 3.1 Hestia 3.2 Hera (and her children with Zeus: Eileithyia, Hebe, Hephaestus and Ares) Pandora’s jar Pandora brings from Zeus a deceiving jar (pithos). Epimetheus, Prometheus’ and Atlas’ brother, marries her. Pandora opens the jar and all the evils come out, except for hope (elpis) which remains with Pandora. Pandora is the first parthenos (virgin/maiden), in the process of becoming a gyne (woman/wife) right after Epimetheus “marries” her. In this sense the myth is an etiological account of marriage as social institution. - Pandora = given gifts by all of the gods/goddesses; she = the gift to Epimetheus (Titan) for marriage - Pandora: o Mostly connected to gift given to her: the jar o Connected to social dowry  Dowry of bride, in Greek tradition: cups, jewellery, clothes (anything meant for the bride to keep) o Hope (elpis) – stayed in jar with Pandora  Can be understood as a blessing About Hope Aeschylus, Prometheus bound, 248-252: “Prometheus: I stopped mortals from foreseeing their fate. Chorus: What sort of remedy did you find for this plague? Prometheus: I planted in them blind hopes. Chorus: This was a great advantage that you gave mortals. Prometheus: And besides I gave them fire.” - Describes pains of Prometheus before his liberation thanks to Hercules - Prometheus – gives humans hope with fire o Also gave them “blind hopes” - In Hesiod’s account, Zeus exchanges human’s hope with fire (?) o Zeus gives hope to humans because Prometheus gave them fire  Fire – related to male erotic; imagery = fennel stalk (wherein Prometheus hid the fire in before giving it to the humans) - Elpis – fem. word in Greek th Theognis (6 c. BC lyric poet) “Hope is the only good god who remains among mortals; all the others left to Olympus.” (1.1135 ff.) - All good fortunes went to Olympus - Hope went to humans The creation of Pandora. White-ground cup, ca. 460 BC. British Museum, London - Hephaestus + Athena create Pandora o Connection between Athena + Pandora = strong 2  The model of the Athenian Acropolis from ROM, Toronto; the Parthenon, the Erechtheion, the Propylaea (front gates), the temple of Athena Nike (Victory)  Parthenon: o Connected to parthenos (place of virgin) o Largest place of worship for Athena  Model of the interior of the Parthenon with statue of the Athena Parthenos. ROM, Toronto  Athena holds in one hand Victory (smaller goddess)  Depiction of Pandora’s myth = on the base/pediment of the statue  The creation of Pandora. Base of Hellenistic Athena Parthenos from Pergamum. Ashmolean Museum, Oxford  Base depicts story of Pandora o Athena = one of the most worshipped goddess  Athena, a virgin, creates the 1 virgin + = intrinsically connected to Pandora  Aphrodite isn’t a virgin, but does disguise herself as one to seduce, for example, Anchises (Aeneas’ father); she = opposed by the virgin goddesses The Myth of the Five Races In Hesiod, Words and Days: gold, silver, bronze, heroes, iron Ovid (Metamorphoses) only mentions four of them (he omits the heroes) The constant degradation of human race - Iron age = most degraded - Motif in other religions + anthologies Both conflict each other - Motif for human progress (maybe?) The myth of the flood In Ovid, Metamorphoses - Not mentioned by Hesiod Zeus comes to earth disguised as mortal, encounters Lycaon (lack of piety + human sacrifice) Deucalion (son of Prometheus) and Pyrrha (daughter of Epimetheus and Pandora) survive The Titaness Themis advises them: “toss the bones of your mother behind your back” One of the sons was Hellen, the eponymous ancestor of Hellas and its people, the Hellenes - Parallel myths to other Near-Eastern mythologies o Resembles myth of Noah (Bible) + Uta-napishtim (The Book of Gilgamesh) - Zeus comes down to humans, disguised as a mortal, + = horrified by the barbaric behaviour of the mortals o Zeus decides to destroy the human race w/ flood  Only survivors: Deucalion (son of Prometheus) + Pyrrha (daughter of Epimetheus + Pandora) - For human reproduction, Deucalion + Pyrrha ask advice from Thetis (Titaness) o Advice: “toss the bones of your mother behind your back” o 2nd creation of humanity: stone (when Deucalion + Pyrrha throw stones behind them - One of the sons = Hellen o Hellen = eponymous ancestor of Hellas + its people, the Hellenes  Eponymous gives name to entire race Zeus and the twelve Olympians (the Pantheon) Cronus and Rhea’s offspring Zeus Hera Hades Hestia Poseidon
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