May 29, 2013
CLA204 Classical Mythology Week 7
Autochthony and the Myths of Thebes
Big themes-examples ex. social and cosmic order-can talk abt succession myth of
Zeus and the myth of Pandora.
Autochthony: Recall Deucalion and Pyrrha
Autochthony: Things being born out of the ground spontaneously, no parents or
Relates to Gaia since she’s earth, but really these things being born are not
connected to her or anyone else, not bound to mistakes or good traits of ancestors.
The ppl that come from the story of Deucalion are an entire race
Idea of place/location very important-strongly connected linked to that place and
everyone from there.
He spontaneously pop out of the ground, he was human on top bottom half was a
snake. Snakes are often involved and linked to Autochthony. Somebody who took
Athens and turned it from a wilderness into a city were proper worship of the gods
was taking place, people used to practice human sacrifice, Cecrops ended this and
told ppl it was wrong should sacrifice animals instead. Poseidon and Athena, salt
print and olive tree=Athena wins. Marriage had to be monogamous, only 2 ppl, can’t
have more then 1 spouse. Funeral rites. Responsible for structure of Athens, with
buildings, temples and workshops that represent civilization. Athens knows the
right way to interact with gods, humans interact with each other, marriage, and
death all believed it was because of Cecrops that Athenians became civilized
His birth is accidental. Hephaestus is sad cuz had marriage problems with
Aphrodite, in this state of mind conceives passion for Athena who has no interest in
him always a virgin, Athena runs he chases her limping, in his excitement ejaculates
on Athena’s leg, wipes it off and throws piece of wool to the ground were
Erichthonius is born.
Image Gaia woman lifting baby, Hephaestus and daughter of Cecrops?
Daughters of Cecrops, told by Athena not to open basket, they cant resist they open
it, they see something not clear what they see, they go crazy in fear and fall to their
deaths, some myths say he was half snake, other say normal human surrounded by
snakes, other say it was just a snake that jumped out of them.