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Lecture

CLA204H1 - November 15

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Department
Classics
Course
CLA204H1
Professor
Lee Sawchuk
Semester
Fall

Description
CLA204: Introduction to Classical Mythology Kings of Thebes - Lycus - regent, but assumes kingship - brother of Nycteus - Antiope, daughter of Nycteus - sleeps with Zeus - Amphion and Zethus - he and wife Dirce mistreat Antiope - revenge of Amphion and Zethus - spring of Dirce ***Image: Italian picture showing the death of Lycus - reflecting a Euripidean play - rather than the myths that we have already seen - 4th century BCE - in a cave (that is the archway) - brothers Amphion and Zethus about to kill Lycus - beside them in the far right is Antiope in shock - off to the left is a bull trampling on Dirce - above Lycus is an animal skin (panther)--Dirce is a Bacchan in some versions - the figure hovering at the top is Hermes - he shows up at the end of the play to tell everyone how it is solved ***Image: same scene, but Dirce has been tied to the bull and it is about to drag her off - from Pompeii - Amphion and Zethus come and become rulers - drive away Laius (current heir, supposed to be ruling) - build city walls--this usually means that they founded the city - this is another sort of founding myth for Thebes - story that Ampion can play the lyre really well, and the stones moved into positions by direction of his music - Zethus marries Thebe (this is where we get the name of the city, Thebes) - Ampion marries Niobe (the one who bragged and said that her children are better than Leto's children) - she is punished by having all her children killed - 7 sons and 7 daughters - Artemis and Apollo - Ovid Met. 6 - two foundation myths for Thebes - one based on Cadmus killing the dragon - more associate with near-Eastern foundation myths - killing a dragon (esp. one guarding water) goes back to these near- Eastern myths - also many near-East myths about people springing up from the ground - Cadmus is an Easterner who comes to Greece and brings some culture - Cadmus's name is Eastern and it means "man from the East"--there is a thought that possibly Thebes was originally founded by Easterners - other story is more the folktale story, using the typical patterns that we have already seen - semi-divine children born through strange birth story - women's tragedy - use of magic, birthright, discovery, etc. - this is more traditional - later on, Thebans join the traditions together by saying that Cadmus and his line just founded the Cadmea, and Amphion and Zethus founded the city proper (Thebes) Oedipus and the Labdacids - Laius leaves and goes to the Peloponnesos (Ellis) - Laius is welcomed into the home and treated well as a guest - well there, Laius falls in love with Pelops's son and kidnaps him - eventually Pelops gets him back and curses Laius - curses usually stay on a family forever - we don't know exactly what the curse was/how it was done, except from this Oracle that was at the beginning of a play - Pelops' curse on Lauis - Oracle: "I will give you a son, but you are destined to die at his hands. This is the decision of Zeus, in answer to the bitter curses of Pelops, whose son you abducted; all this did Pelops call down upon you." Sophocles, Argument to Oedipus Tyrannous - Lauis marries Jocasta (Spartoi) - attempts to circumvent oracle by avoiding sleeping with wife - gets drunk one day and sleeps with her and they have a son - pierce the child's foot so it can't walk - give it to a shepherd and tell him to leave it in a bush - exposes child - rescued because the shepherd doesn't want to do it, given to Polybus and Merope of Corinth who treat it as their natural child - Oedipus is the name given to the child (oidos = swollen, pous = foot) - Laius has to flee Ellis and go back to Thebes - Amphion and Zethus are gone, and so Lauis becomes king of Thebes - Oedipus in Corinth - accused of being adopted and not being the true son of the king and queen of Cointh - Oracle replies with its own prophecy: - you will kill your father and marry your mother - leaves Corinth to avoid this oracle, heads to Thebes - showdown at the crossroads - guy in carriage tries to run Oedipus off the road, run over his foot, or the man hits him as they are passing - they have a confrontation, Oedipus is in a rage - kills another traveller and his retinue - in some myths one person escapes - Oedipus continues--however he doesn't know that the man in the carriage was his father (Laius) - first part of the Oracle has been filled - Hyginus 67 and Apollodorus M6 - in Apollodorus, people say that Oedipus is adopted because of his greatness (they are jealous) - in Hyginus, Oedipus is brash and that's why the rumours start up - this one interesting because the story of him later fits better with this - Oedipus and the Sphinx - sphinx = "strangler" - has been terrorising people - there is a proclamation that whoever can get
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