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Lecture 5

CLA204 Lecture 5.pdf

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Michael Carter

-sense of order:everything is categorized -fixed order is crucial,if it isn't there,then the world falls to pieces -however there also has to be compromise,can't stick to rules too closely -opposition of apollo vs dionysus = paradigm of opposition;apollo=masculine while dionysus=feminine -autochthony:being born out of the ground Apollonian Order -dionysus=least greek of all greek gods,effeminate;apollo=the most greek of all the greek gods -dionysus=don't know if old or young,don't know if bearded or beardless;apollo=youthful,strong (beardless), he is at the height of perfection + health -dionysus=excess,chaos,ecstasy;apollo=order,stability,rules -in the statue of apollo,he imposes order on the battle btwn centaurs and lapids (centaurs want to carry of bridesmaids);apollo tells them to stop -sayings associated with apollo,and his place in greece (Delphi): • nothing in excess:everything has to be kept within reasonable limits,there must be balance,moderation is key • know yourself:applies to the order in the universe and the way that everything is hierarchal;this means know where you stand in the cosmic order (are you a god or mortal? man or woman? young or old?) know which one you are and act that way -apollo then becomes a guardian of social order because he is associated with these phrases ->he males sure that anybody trying to exceed the bounds of what is reasonable for them gets punished -mother was leto,and apollo was born when the island of delos allowed leto to give birth to him on it -even though hera has a grudge against dionysus for being born from an affair of zeus',apollo isn't rejected in the same way;hera doesn't mess with apollo and so soon after apollos birth,he becomes an olympian and so isnt an outsider;he is welcomed very readily as an olympian right from his birth Mt.Parnassus,Delphi where he has his temple,where people seek him out for his prophecies -one of apollo's earliest myths is how he establishes his temple at delphi Apollo and Pytho(n) -apollo knows that he needs to establish a place for himself on Mt.Delphi on Parnassus but the mountain is occupied by female serpent pytho(n) -apollo slays the dragon and leaves it to rot -thus his first myth regards an act of civilization;he takes this feminine,monstrous,savage creature,puts a stop to it and claims delphi for himself -then he sets up a temple,way up in the mountains Apollo's Pythia -you go to delphi on your own behalf usually if you need a prophecy read -if you are a particularly rich or powerful person however,you may send an ambassador to go on your behalf first you make a sacrifice to apollo,usually animal sacrifice;skin and meat of the animal go to temple -once you've paid the entry price of making a sacrifice,then you go to the oracle and ask a yes/no question -keep questions simple;b/c getting a prophecy from delphi is not an exact science -you pose the question to the pythia (her name originates from python;associated with the idea of feminine, monstrous,savage snake that got killed.however the pythia on the other hand is welcomed into the temple-> there is a place for her in the masculine,apollonian order) who sits on a tripod (bowl with three legs) and she becomes inspired by apollo who "breathes" into her and then she becomes possessed by him-> then she rants some inexplicable thing.then the priest takes her words and translates it into poetry -the poem is usually obscure and doesn't give a direct answer -why did pythia enter this ecstatic state? diff explanations:because apparently she chewed on laurel leaves (laurel associated with apollo) -another theory was that there were vapours rising from fissures in the mountain,which pythia breathed in (no proof) -thus people were skeptical as to whether pythia was really reacting to something or whether it was self- imposed religious mania or something more manipulative -if you got a good outcome from the oracle,then you had to return to the temple to give thanks -famous example:Croesus was king of lydia,went to the Delphic oracle to see if he should wage war on the persian empire.the oracle told him that if he attacked,an empire would fall.however,once he attacked them,his own empire fell (the oracle was ambiguous as to which empire would fall) -ex.story of athenian leading up to the persian war:greeks were able to fend the persians off even though the persians were strong -> the athenians knew that the persians were coming so they consulted the Delphic oracle,which told them that they should build wooden walls to defend their city -> the athenians thought this was odd b/c the walls would do nothing to fend off the persians (persians could just burn the wall down);however a clever general figured out what the oracle meant:the oracle meant that they should build ships -and thus it was the tactical advantage of building ships on the sea that led to the victory of the athenians -people came from all over the world to go to the Delphic oracle for prophecies Omphalos -means naval/belly-button;delphi was thought to be the centre of the world,a place where you could find out how to live your life,live according to the order of apollo -apollo allows for exchange btwn divine and mortal,however nobody crosses over the boundary;apollo still allows a little conduit to exist in the cosmic hierarchy -prophecy is the most important role for apollo -but apollo has also attributes associated with order Apollo God of Music (nomos) -delphi was a place with a lot of contests (including musical) -apollo's instrument=lyre,an orderly & civilized instrument (in contrast with Dionysus' instruments:drums, cymbals) -the word for song in Greece=nomos,which has another meaning:law (music is a metaphor for law,rules that you follow so that your song turns out well);another example of how apollo is tied up with order Apollo God of Plague -this is also linked to order;apollo uses plague as a tool to enforce order,punishing people who step out of bounds -in the iliad,there is a general of the greeks agamemnon who has stolen the daughter of a priest of apollo (this happens in greek warfare,women are taken as captives) -the priest then offers a huge ransom but agamemnon gets cocky and doesn't want to give the girl back and wants to keep her so he refuses the ransom (against the rules of war) -the priest tries to explain that apollo isnt going to happy,but agamemnon still refuses -thus apollo sends a plague to the greek army,and doesnt come to an end untilAgamemnon gives the girl back -another plague sent by apollo:oedipus broke the rules by patricide and incest -> violation of the riles of the cosmos and thus plague is sent to thebes that tells the they have pollution that the have to deal with Asclepius and Epidaurus -asclepius=son of apollo and Coroni;she cheated on apollo while pregnant with apollo's baby -apollo gets mad at her for the affair and shoots her down while rescuing the baby -apollo is upset and sends the baby to the centaur of Chiron who raises the child;Chiron is wise and teaches the child about everything he knows about medicine -asclepius is associated with the city of epidaurus which is famous for the theatre ruins there -there is also a centre in epidaurus associated with asclepius;if you sleep in the temple while sick,asclepius supposedly visits you in the night and cures you -asclepius puts a body back into order -asclepius isnt as good as order as his father is;he is so good at healing that he oversteps his bounds and tries to bring the dead back from death (hippolytus) -zeus gets really angry b/c crossing the boundary btwn life and death is hard to do yet asclepius just brings hippolytus back -asclepius is punished by zeus (in some myths he is killed);there are some boundaries you cannot cross Theatre of DionysusThe Great Dionysia -similarities btwn apollo and dionysus:we need a counterbalance btwn the order of apollo and the wildness of dionysus -dionysus inspires his maenads,inspires chaotic madness -apollo also inspires chaos and madness (pythia);the way he communicates prophecy to mortals is through divine inspiration -altho apollo is a god of order,dionysus does that too (although in a foreign and barbaric way):he punishes people that have overstepped boundaries, people who don't respect the cosmos and the stable way things are supposed to be (e.x.bacchae + pentheus refused to make sacrifices to the gods) -delphi:home of apollo;but apollo only lives there for half of the year while dionysus comes in and takes his place for the rest of the year ->> they SHARE delphi -a lot of the things that take place at delphi (theatre and musical competitions) were associated with dionysus -dionysus still cares about order and structure and apollo still has an element of inspired craziness ----- -the theater is a metaphor for talking about the relationship btwn apollo and dionysus -at the theatre,there was a festival that took place yearly in honour of dionysus :the great dionysia -plays would be presented -sayings said that the festival "had nothing to do with dionysus" ex.the festival was a very orderly affair (rules about how it was organized,how you competed,how you were judged) -rituals that introduced the plays reinforce the order of the city:10 general pour libations to the gods,allies of athens (subject polesis) Present annual tributes to athens,celebration of individual contributions to the city, parade of war orphans (kids whose fathers had been killed in war)-> they were given armour by the city and were expected to become part of the Hoplite army themselves -athens honours dionysus,does not make the same mistake as thebes -dressing up is a part of the festival,emotional abandonment where u are supposed to feel fear and pity and excitement while watching the play is more dionysiac than apollonian (apollonian=dont let your emotions get out of hand) Satyr Plays -after 3 tragedies were presented on one day,a satyr play would be performed -plays were comical,crude,lots of sexual innuendo (contrast to the tragic plays)-> pushing against the boundaries -also satyrs are followers of dionysus -another dionysiac element:having a festival period.because you are not doing the normal day-to-day things when you attend a festival;everyone takes a holiday and goes to the festival -in the theatre of dionysus,everybody including women and slaves could go-> boundaries btwn classes are relaxed;this inversion of stable order that normally defines the city is another dionysiac element -the festival is a combo of apolloninan and dionysiac elements;need apolloian order to make it work,but also need dionysian fun and chaos -the festival represents a break from order -the two gods achieve compromise -there is a defined place where order is relaxed -back to the phrase nothing in excess,associated with apollo:it can also mean dont haveAPOLLO in excess, meaning dont have order in excess,need the chaotic energy that dionyus brings to preserve apolloninan order Nietzsche's "Birth ofTragedy" -1970 german philosopher:writes about the opposition btwn apollo and dionysus apollo:visual,(prophetic) dreams,order,olympians,civilization,greek,individual (important when talking about tragedy;greek tragedy has a quirk in that there is the normal dialogue you expect but its also broken up by weird poetic moments spoken by the chorus;thus apollo is the normal dialogue),dramatic dialogue dionysus:musical,intoxication,chaos,titans,savagery,foreign,collective (dionysus represents chorus),choral song -believed that theatre was the way athens expresses its need for acceptance for both apollo and dionysus and this was shown in the way athens presented tragedies -for nietzsche,apollo represented individual character:dialogue,speeches;dionysus represents little injections of chaos in the play with the chorus which break the flow of the plot;consists of unstructured poetry Autochthony:Recall Deucalion and Pyrrha -autochthony:means being born out of the ground (thon=means out of ground) -this kind of implicates gaia;the earth is your mother ->however for greeks this meant that you had no parents and were independently born-> no genetic baggage, you have a clean slate when you are born -in greek myths of autochthony gives you a very close connection to that specific piece of ground -the people who live that part of the world are closely linked to the land and informs their gorup identity -one of the implicit claims of autochthony:you are superior to other people who are not from that piece of land -athens is in the middle of the attic peninsula -athenians believed they had a right to control the land b/c their ancestors had been born from there -three autochthonist ancestors associated with athens: 1. Cecrops:myths about him are sketchy,however it was believed he was half snake on the bottom and half human on top;since snakes are associated with the ground,they often appear in autochtony myths.he had a role as a civilizing figure,the person who convinced the athenians that they had to worship zeus;he had the role of civilizing athens (taking them from a place where they didnt understand their place in the hierarchy),he banned human sacrifice and founded a lot of religious cults in athens to facilitate worship of was during the reign of cecrops as king of athens that athena and poseidon had their dispute over who should be the patron god of athens.decreed that marriage should be monogamous (before,polygamy was accepted).he also introduced funeral rites to athens-> this makes things predictable and acceptable in the eyes of the gods.cecrops know what is eight/wrong,how people should behave. 2. Erichthonius:his birth was accidental-> hephaestus conceived a sudden passion for athena b/c he had just been through the divorce with aphrodite .hephaestus chases after athena,a virgin goddess,so she runs away and hephaestus gets overexcited and ejaculates prematurely onto the ground and from that,springs erichthonius.athena gives the baby to the daughters of cecrops and tells them not the open it but they do.various versions of whatever they saw in the basket that the daughters go crazy and jump off a cliff.then athena takes erichthonius and takes him to raise him by herself and he doesnt return until he's much older.this myth explains a strange ritual that took place in athens:the ritual of the arrhephoroi which means basket rituals.two girls were chose to live on the acropolis fora year.they were given a basket to carry from one side of the acropolis to another side without looking in the basket-> they are correcting the story of what the daughters of cecrops failed to do.erichthonius comes back as a king for athens,good and fair king.contributions:encourages the worship of athena,built a shrine for her on the acropolis,major site of cult worship for athena in athens 3. erechtheus and the erechtheon doesnt have elaborate birth story,spontaneously spurts from ground like cecrops. he takes over as king of athens from erichthonius.he becomes one of the tribal heroes of athens (rmbr athens has 10).he establishes cult practice for poseidon. (remembers the fight btwn athena and poseidon and poseidon lost) there is a building on the acropolis called the erechtheon:had 2 levels,one dedicated to erechtheus and one dedicated to poseidon. Erechtheus vs.Eumolpus -erechtheus is more firmly situated in what athens considers to be its own history ,fully human.instead of being vaguely associated with piety like his ancestors,he is actually involved with a war that happened.athens was invaded from the outside by eumolpus. eumolpus is associated with eleusis.athens goes to the Delphic oracle to ask what to do. it tells them the only way to win the war is to sacrifice one of the daughters of the king, erechtheus.erechtheus doesnt want to do this but the women of the city convince him otherwise (saving the city is better than saving one daughter) the daughters make a pact:one of the daughters will be sacrificed and all the other ones will commit suicide -the athenians win the war but erectheus dies in battle -wife becomes a priestess of athena and erechtheus' son becomes the next king Europa and the Bull -cadmus isnt from thebes;he's from phaenicia.what sparks his great mythical journey is that his sister europa is abducted by zeus in the form of a bull -cadmus and his brothers set off to try to bring her ba
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