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CLA204H1 - November 6

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University of Toronto St. George
Lee Sawchuk

CLA204: Introduction to Classical Mythology - Erechtheus (2?) - succeeded by Cecrops 2 - succeeded by Pandion 2 - driven out of Athens, flees to Megara - fathers Augeus, Pallas, Lycus, and Nisus - brothers return to Athens - Aegeus becomes sovereign - Nisus rules Megara ***Image: birth of Ericthonius - snake tail = Cecrops - beside him is a woman (kind of short), a bit in the ground - this is Gaea (half in the ground) - handing over a child to Athena - Athena is not wearing armour, but we can see a spear - also wearing aegis - another person there, garlanded (Hephaestus) - person beside him is even less certain--could be one of Cecrops's daughters? Theseus’ Birth and Early Years • Aegeus in Athens – Childless (doesn't have an heir to his reign) • Pallas has 50 sons (reign will fall to his sons) – Oracle--Aegeus asks how he can have an heir • Told “not to undo the wineskin’s mouth” until he returns home - doesn't know what this means • Aegeus in Troezen to visit a friend (Pittheus) - Pittheus understands that it means that if Aegeus has sex when he is at home, he will have a child - not to undo the wineskin's mouth means not to have sex – Sleeps with Pittheus’ daughter Aethra because Pittheus gets him drunk - the daughter gets pregnant and has a son named Theseus • Apollodorus N1 - different tradition to the birth story - apparently Poseidon also sleeps with Aethra on the same night--who is the father? - is Theseus the son of Poseidon or Aegeus? • Hyginus 37 - Aegeus might know that Poseidon is the father - Poseidon tells him to raise him as his own son - as far as Aegeus is concerned, Theseus is his real son • Theseus born at Troezen - still an Athenian, because his father is Athenian - Aegeus goes home and leaves his lover and baby behind - tells Aethra not to tell anyone who Theseus's father is - told that when Theseus is ready, he can come see Aegeus Theseus’ Adventures • The Sword and Sandals in the Stone - when Theseus can move the stone, he is ready – Recognition tokens--how Theseus will be recognized - lifts the stone, is told who his father is, and goes to Athens - decides not to sail to Athens (which is easiest) and instead takes a difficult route - Theseus eager for adventure and glory • “Labours”--various adventures that he has along the way - gets rid of things that are dangerous to society – 1. Periphetes the Clubber at Epidauros - defeats Periphetes the clubber, who liked to hit people with a bronze club - Theseus takes the club, hits Periphetes, and kills him - we don't see the club again after this • Takes bronze club • Gets the club treatment – 2. Sinis the Pine-Bender at Corinth - called the Pine-Bender because he would make people travelling by grab hold on pine trees that he had bent down, and then he would let go and shoot them into the air • Giant and son of Poseidon • Gets the tree treatment - Theseus makes Sinis fly into the air - alternate version: Sinis ties people to several bent trees which then tear them apart – 3. The Crommyonian Sow north of Corinth - an old woman magically controls it - big annoying pig • Kills an enormous pig – 4. Sciron the deadly Foot-Washer of Megara - stops travellers walking by and makes them wash his feet on the edge of a cliff - he would then kick them down to cliff • Man-eating turtle would eat them at the bottom - Theseus either throw him off the cliff or forces the guy to wash his feet and kicks him off the cliff, where the turtle eats him – 5. Cercyon the Wrestler at Eleusis • Wrestled to death - Theseus gets into a wrestling match and kills Cercyon – 6. Procrustes and his bed - just outside of Eleusis - welcomes travellers in and puts them in beds that do not fit them - big people = chops them off to fit the bed - little people = stretches them to fit the bed • “the stretcher” is what his name means • Put in his own bed - after this, Theseus is in Athens ***Image: Theseus pushing away the rock and revealing the tokens of recognition - young man shown naked in action - Aethra behind telling him to move the stone - late first century Roman carving, reflecting the typical story - can see the sword, might be sandals there as well ***Image: map showing where he travels and where the labours take place ***Image: Sinis the pine-bender - Theseus wearing his sword (token of recognition) - young man = no beard - Sinis trying to throw a rock - Theseus grabbing a tree to give him the pine treatment ***Image: foot-washer being thrown from the cliff - turtle at the bottom - interesting = Theseus wearing a robe for action - also wearing a wide-brimmed hat that looks like what Hermes would wear - travelling hat means he is travelling while this happens ***Image: series of images showing most of his labours - includes two others that aren't normally part of the labours - missing Periphetes - WON'T BE TESTED ON THIS Theseus at Athens - Medea - at some point while Theseus was conceived, Medea and Jason's adventures were going on – Given refuge by Aegeus - they usually get married; she solves his "childless problem" - Medea recognises Theseus before anyone else - convinced Aegeus that Theseus is up to no good – Ma
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