May 15, 2012
CLA201 Classical Mythology WEEK 2
Creation of the World Introducing the Gods
Ovid not interested in god but the physical entity that is the world that we live in.
Theirs a narrative the time goes on the word changed
Genealogy whose father was who how many daughters how many sons, -don’t focus
on that but instead focus on the story.
Idea-structuralism- at heart just means looking at the world as a series of opposites
male and female wild and civilized can see the world has opposite ends. Zeus is
opposed to Hera or Earth opposed to Sky strong contrasts that structure the world.
Post structural going beyond seeing the world just as opposite-yin and yang two
half’s white and black but theirs a little of each on either side as well. Male and
Female =might be able to see elements of the male in Hera and vice versa.
Start off in rigid structure.
Theogony starts of with the Muses goddesses of art and poetry, 160 lines indication
of the muses after that get to account of how the world was created. Earth created
heaven ot cover herself… Uranus is Gaia’s son-they give birth to titans (12) Cuz they
are opposites Gaia is not happy that Uranus is always on top of her, leads to
problems when they have 12 children, Uranus hides them away in a secret place on
earth…Uanus is not letting Gaia give birth to the kids they stay in her womb. Story
assumes Uranus being male is stronger thus she has to use Deceit, force and cunning
opposed to each other. Tricking and deceit overcomes strength. Gaia whispering to
her own womb speaking to her children, Cronos agrees to do the deed. Gaia gives
her son a sickle; he is the youngest son who frees himself and his siblings out of
Gaia’s womb through the use of the sickle. Uranus’s member falls into the ocean
Aphrodite rises out of the ocean were the testicals had fallen, after she arises she is a
counter part of Eros the force of Love cuz of Eros u can have children who are
created by two, After Aphrodite there is more sex and kids. Not important >
*Aphrodite also known as Aphrodite of the slim ankles, called after numerous places
were she was born, philomatus, phil, smiles,
Cronos marries his sister Rhea imp gods All Greek gods of Olympus are also imp.
Cronus receives advice from Uranus that he shouldn’t let his kids live cuz they will
out thrown him, So he swallowed/ate them as soon as they were born, he wants to
be king all by himself, he learned that he was destined to be overcome by his sons
even though he was strong. Rhea plots with her youngest son Zeus, She speaks to
her parents Gaia and Uranus to plot, who tell her to give birth to Zeus on island of
Crete and hide him in a cave where He was raised by a goat named Amalthea, while
a company of Kouretes— soldiers, or smaller gods— danced, shouted and clashed
their spears against their shields so that Cronus would not hear the baby's cry, Rhea
wrapped a stone in clothes and Cronos swallows the rock and doesn’t realize it’s a
rock. After that Zeus got stronger comes back and fights his father and Cronus
throws up the rock and all the kids. May 15, 2012
Greeks actually thought they had the stone, which they called a bellybutton since it
was the center of the world. Zeus was given thunder and the thunderbolt.
Zeus came to power through trickery no reason same thing isn’t going to happen to
him. No reason its not going to repeat itself again and again. The Olympians get into
a fight with the Titans theirs aunts and uncles. Lasts for 10yrs without a clear
victory neither side has clear advantage, force vs. force isn’t working you need
cunning and deceit to overcome force. Gaia tells Zeus how he can win the war.
Cyclopes and the hundred-handed giants –Gaia convinced Zeus that he should make
friends with them-Uranus was afraid of them, Zeus releases them from the
underworld, they are so grateful to Zeus that they give him the thunderbolt and this
is what finally allows them to overcome the titans who are then imprisoned in the
Atlas holds the world on his shoulders. He is the only one who isn’t imprisoned in
Zeus is begged to be the gods king to rule and organize the world to set things out
the way their suppose to be.
Zeus vs. Typhoeus
Snake creature sent by Gaia, fights against Zeus, Zeus defeats him.
Metis was Zeus’s first wife, she was the wisest, Athene was about to be born, Zeus
swallows his wife while she was pregnant, the child is born from her father not her
mother, Hermes takes a axe and splits open Zeus’s head since he has a headache and
Athena is born, Takes deceit, has cleverness in him now and strength, Athena
remains a virgin, she never has kids so there is never a threat to him. Zeus forms the
feminine role by giving birth to Athena who is combining male and female elements
she is a warrior never gives birth etc. This is how Zeus ends the cycle.
Zeus is then Married to Hera – they didn’t have a happy marriage, she wants to have
the same advantages as he does, she tries to give birth to a child without the help of
a male, she gives birth to Hephaestus, who is not very manly he is a smith man.
Zeus’s position is not threatened; Hera’s attempt is a failure.
The male is typically stronger female is typically more clever, weaker can overcome
the stronger, Zeus can never be tricked cuz he has that within him, male female
opposition is no longer…Male gets to be in charge, female has to be subordinate.
Tartarus is far would take 9 days for Advil to fall. Heaven and hell opposites. May 15, 2012
Zeus needs held from monsters like the Cyclopes and hundred handed, other way to
think abt it is the way gods swear oaths, they swear by the rivers. If god goes back
on their promise the river sticks, stricken with sickness for 9 years, until served
sentence, cant eat or drink and are separated from the other gods. Elements of
Tartatus that can be stronger than the Gods. Idea of Heaven always being more
powerful than Tartarus is not always the case. That’s how the world stays strong.
Ovid is interested in physical world, doesn’t really talk abt the gods but instead the
creation of the heaven, earth underworld, seas etc a physical process not question of
sex and childbirth, interested in the setting. Ovids world starts with Chaos and then
other elements are created afterwards, there is an unnamed god that is there at the
beginning of the world and then fades into the background as the world grows. God
split off earth from sky and divided and untangled el