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chapter 6

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Claesson Welsh

Sep 27, 2010 Chapter 6: The Nature of the Gods - Characteristics of gods went from abstract to humanized - Anthropomorphism o Xenophanes of Colophon: but if horses or oxen or lions had hands, or could draw w their hands and accomplish such works as men, horses would draw the figures of the gods as similar to horses and the oxen as similar to oxen, and they would make their bodies of the sort which each of them had o gods are human in form and character o gods have homes, need food (ambrosia, nectar) o idealized; super-human; take human characteristics to extremes have beauty, emotions, morals, intellect, weaknesses, pettiness, insincerity, physical abilities their excellence can exceed humans, but so can their wickedness o powers and abilities surpass mortals o have immortality - divine hierarchy; never explicitly put forward, implied o Fate(s) o Aristocracy: Zeus + Olympian gods; local primacy makes certain gods more important than others in certain areas (ie Athena @Athens) o Nymphs (Muses), monstrous deities (Gorgons, Harpies); not necessarily immortal, very powerful, but still limited o Demigods (Achilles); one divine, one human parent o Heroes (Oedipus); go beyond mortals, but still mortal;
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