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CLA204H1 - Lecture 03 - Zeus. The Creation of Mortals.docx

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Vichi Ciocani

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1 CLA204H1 – Lecture 03 – Zeus. The Creation of Mortals Friday, January 11, 2013 NB – last class: creation of universe + everything before Zeus Eos approaches Tithonus, who is holding a lyre. Attic red-figure. Ca. 475-425 BC. British Museum, London - Eos pursues reluctant Tithonus o Eos asks Zeus to make Tithonus immortal, but forgets to tell Zeus to grant him eternal youth. Once Eos sees Tithonus’ gray hairs, she locks him in a room + never sees him again. He ages and turns into a grasshopper 1) Zeus’s rise to power 2) The creation of mortals - Zeus – 1 of 6 children of Rhea + Cronus o Their offspring: 3 females, 3 males Zeus’ rise to power Zeus is the only god who escapes from being eaten up by his father, Cronus. Zeus’ infancy – in a mountain cave, brought up by nymphs on goat milk and honey, and guarded by Curetes, “young men” (will talk about them again in the class on Orphism) The stone – displayed in Apollo’s shrine, at Delphi and called the omphalos (“navel”) - 6 siblings = core of the Pantheon (the most important gods + goddesses) - Zeus = the youngest of 6 - “Zeus”: o Renders the idea of daylight god recognized in European myth o Related etymiologically to English word “day”; Latin word – deius (deity) - “theos” – related to god in Greek - Zeus: o Story related to his relationship to his father  Son dethroning father = the repeated motif o All of his siblings = devoured by Cronus  NB – Uranus hides his children in Tartarus, whereas Cronus eats his own children (as a better solution to hide his enemies)  Rhea = upset much like Gaia was upset with her children being hidden o Rhea’s strategy to deceive Cronus: offers Cronus a stone instead of Zeus o Rhea and the omphalos. Attic red-figure. 474-425 BC., Metropolitan Museum of Arts, New York  An offer is made wherein the mother shows the child for either rejection/acceptation by the father  If rejected, the child is given up to the gods or Fate  Rhea stands on rock the same time she gives Cronus the stone instead of Zeus o Zeus grows up and forces Cronus to vomit the stone and his siblings  The motif of male pregnancy is potent in Greek myth o Life/infancy – he is hidden in a cave, risen by nymphs, + guarded by Curetes  He’s risen in the wilderness by particular divinities, who aren’t maternal figures  Goddesses protecting birth + children = the Fortune goddesses  Nymphs:  Raise + hide Zeus  Greek word nympha: o Nymph – small female deity; often connected to springs 2  Spring = central element  Nymph = immortalized + stuck in the transition from a woman before + after wedding ritual o Bride – connection to bride imagery: groom’s name = derived from bride  In Greek, the wedding = focussed on the bride  Connection: bride that = virgin + is in the midst of the transformation from a young lady to a maternal figure  Curetes – “young men”; associated with the word “curae”  Plays an important role in Orphism  Important that they = young, pre-sexual deities (much like the nymphs) o Grows up:  Confronts his father, mother, + other Titans  Gains victory over them  provokes Cronus into vomiting the stone + his siblings  Stone: o Worshipped in the Temple of Apollo in Delphi o Anointed with oils by priests o Stone fell precisely at Delphi  Omphalos – “navel” Zeus’ concern with succession - Zeus is worried of being replaced by his sons o There’s the psychoanalytical repetition of the Oedipus complex in Greek myth: the separation of the mother + father by the son by getting rid of the father o Tries to control the offspring, which = tied to controlling the mother of the offspring - Episodes: o 1) With the help of his five rescued brothers and sisters, the Cyclopes and the Hecantochires, Zeus fights Cronus and the other Titans. In the Titanomachy (mache “battle”), only Themis and Prometheus (the son of Iapetus) from the Titans’ side are on Zeus’ side  Battle against Cronus + the rest of the Titans  Themis, the Justice Titan, and Prometheus stay with Zeus  Titanomachy – mache/machy: “battle” o 2) Zeus’ battle with Typhoeus, a winged serpent-like creature born from the union of Gaia and Tartarus, that Zeus will throw back to Tartarus  Zeus and Typhoeus
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