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CLA204H1 - Lecture 09 - Aphrodite (Roman Venus).docx

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University of Toronto St. George
Vichi Ciocani

1 CLA204H1 – Lecture 09 – Aphrodite (Roman Venus) Friday, January 25, 2013 - NB – Athena: o Main goddess of Athenians o Opposes Aphrodite, Ares + Poseidon  They come to Greece from foreign lands  Athena transforms some powers of those gods + goddess  Ex: Ares, god of war; Athena, goddess of strategy - Aphrodite: o Eastern goddess o Similar to important goddess in Babylonian + Assyrian traditions  Overlapping of Greek perception + religions Aphrodite’s Birth Theogony 156-206 “As for the genitals, slashed away by the sickle of steel, Their impetus carried them out from shore to the tide of the sea. For years the waters swirled them about, as white foam kept oozing From out the immortal flesh. Within it there grew up a maiden Who drifted first to holy Cythera, then on to Cyprus.” - Places of worship: Cyther + Cyprus (farther east) - Theogony – reflects important places of worship for goddess - Birth: out of sea shell - Presence of Eros (sometimes represented as her son) + Hermes 2 - Depiction of Aphrodite’s birth - One of the Horae (season) / one of the Graces o Woman on shore, waiting to clothe Aphrodite - Depiction of winds (left side) – moving Aphrodite to shore of Cyprus / Cythera - Plato (Symposium) distinguishes between Aphrodite Urania (and Eros as principle of cohesion) and Aphrodite Pandemos (and Eros as the naughty boy with arrows) o Aphrodite’s division reflectstfrom the creation of Eros  Eros = one of the 1 creatures to show up after Chaos gives birth to deities  Eros = also known as the winged-boy  Dichotomies of Eros + Aphrodite - Aphrodite Pandemos (“common Aphrodite”) is the daughter of Zeus and Dione o Dione = fem. of Zeus - Socrates claims that he learned the true nature of Eros from a woman otherwise unknown, Diotima o Socrates: met wise woman, Diotima  Diotima taught Socrates Eros’ nature as being ambiguous  Eros = between 2 states of rich + poor o Eros:  Androgynous  Constant strife to become something else / to improve oneself/become wise  Need to be ignorant to be willing to become knowledgeable  Drive of satiating feeling of being empty  Freud’s theory of sublimation: need to get rid of/suppress drives to create cultures by sublimating drives o Reproduction + culture drives = the same; there = desire to become more than one is Appearance and attendants of Aphrodite - Usually clothed in vase-paintings, particularly early (6 -5 c. BC) o NB – clothing = related to Athens o Aphrodite = represented as clothed in Greek culture, whereas in Babylonian + Assyrian cultures, she’s depicted as being naked - Following Praxiteles’ (4 thc. BC) full standing statue Aphrodite of Cnidus (not extant), often represented nude o NB – important to remember that art has transformed from Archaic to Hellenistic art - Crown of myrtle leaves, magic girdle, geese, doves, sparrows o Associated to: birds (dove, geese, etc.), vegetation (myrtle leaves) o Her magic girdle:  NB – story of Zeus being seduced by Hera  In Iliad – Hera doesn’t want Zeus to take the side of the Trojans, so she seduces him, using Aphrodite’s magic girdle, + he forgets war - Eros, Peitho (Persuasion), Horae (the Seasons) and the three Graces o Graces (in Greek) clothe Aphrodite to make her more alluring o Many attendants surrounding Aphrodite  Eros – “cupid” in Latin  Eros: 3 o 1) Son of Chaos, created asexually  after Eros, all creations = created sexually o 2) Son of Aphrodite  Love = war between genders  Eros represents this conflict  Peitho – goddess, “Persuasion”  Horae (seasons) + 3 Graces – clothe her  All trying to make her more attractive  to attract men - Her festival is Adonia o Festival dedicated to her in Athens: Adonia  Related to myth about her lover, Adonis (Semitic name; origin: The Lord) - Original = not preserved - @ center: Aphrodite  looks like Virgin Mary (intentional) - Eros – blindfolded, throwing arrows - Graces – often dance (∴ can distinguish them from Horae); “dance’, “Grace” o Shows up a lot in description of weddings
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